Though I swore I wouldn't post any more Harold Lloyd gifs, here I am doing it again. I'm making my own now, along with Facebook banners (yes, I am actually dipping my toe back in the poison waters of Facebook) and stuff. And this one turned out so well, after about a billion tries. As the rain teems down - no, not rain, but a sort of solid jelly of water suspended in the air which seeps into every crevice of your being, including your ass - I find I don't want to go out, don't want to hope, but somehow Harold has jumped up again.
I just miss him, is all. I fell deeply in love with him while writing The Glass Character, and never got over it. Nobody else gets it, apparently, or cares. I have this awful feeling that if anyone else had written the exact same novel, tlhey'd be at the top of the bestseller list. There's something about me. It's bad. Karma? Karma always reminds me of Carmen, a girl in Grade 5 I couldn't stand.
Harold Lloyd actually lived. He wasn't a fictional character, so making him into one took some doing. I wanted to capture all the paradoxes, the apparent contradictions in his personality. He came from this hayseed rural Nebraska background and was a hard-working, uncomplaining, roll-up-your-sleeves type, yet at the same time he could step out on the town looking as elegant as any leading man. When he took those glasses off (and by the way, he was the one who invented the term "glass character", though everyone else said "glasses'), nobody recognized him, and far from being insulted by it, he liked the fact that he could go about Hollywood and remain in cognito.
I am in danger here of telling his whole life story. I couldn't, there's too much of it, some of it kind of loony. There is no doubt he was eccentric, and became more that way as he got older. He fancied his Greenacres mansion was a sort of Heffneresque retreat for curvaceous young beauties whom he photographed in the nude (in 3D! Harold was always ahead of his time.) They were all there to sample like so many chocolates in a box. Meantime his wife suffered from loneliness and depression. How much do we pay for fame?
Hmmm, these gifs ain't bad. I spent a long time on them today. For almost a year, I turned away. I turned my back on all the failure, having my work thrown back in my face, or (worse) totally ignored. It seems I wasn't going to make a go of this, after all. The angel cake fell flat, the elation that had lasted a year and a half just died.
So why is it returning now?
I have this relentlessness in me, but I am not sure it is good. It's this inability to give up, even when I probably should have long ago.
I tell myself, look, I proved to myself that I can be published. So that must mean that it can happen again.
Even though this is bullshit, part of me must believe it.
It's not in the cards for me to be successful, or so I tell myself. I had that one little taste (well, two. But as with any peak time in life, did I really appreciate it? I assumed it would be that way "from now on".) But I realize this is just a load of complaining and I have to get on with the task of writing.
I cannot imagine writing another novel, but I couldn't imagine Harold until he jumped into my head. I thought researching a novel would be agonizing, but it turned out to be the most enjoyable part. I wanted to use everything I could get my hands on. Natural curiosity became obsession, the most enjoyable obsession I have ever experienced.
I could lose myself in that world. My own world is boring and frustrating and I am left with the feeling I will never get what I want.
But why did I think I could buy my way into happiness with a book? Aren't writers just about the most wretched people on earth (next to actors)? As for success, can't I be just as unhappy without it?
It bears thinking about.