Today I’m Realizing That I Need To Stop Being Dwight Howard


It’s funny what things can inspire you. I can sit here for days with the urge to write. Wanting it. Feening. And nothing. Absolutely nothing. It kills.

Sometimes I force myself to write. Then I write garbage. It’s so unproductive. My readers can see the difference. Even if they won’t admit it. It’s hard to have a friend critique your work. They always just say, “it was really good.” And yeah, maybe it is. But how can it be really GREAT. That’s what I want.

One thing I’ve learned about writing is that it can’t be forced. Art can’t be forced. I won’t sit here and insinuate that my writing is art. If it is, it’s some low-level bullshit art (accurate!) But a professor of mine once called writing a form of performing art. He’s right. Music is art. Painting, sculpting, dancing — art. Acting is art. Writing too.

Today I was inspired by a song (and make no mistake about it — my influences bleed free in this low level bullshit artist.) I’ve recently been listening to the latest Fiona Apple album. Track five, entitled “Left Alone,” really stuck like a sore thumb (lyrics under the embed.) The theme is simple enough — girl talks about love. But rather than question an outside source, she questions herself.

Apple makes it known what I think a lot of people overlook. People are in love with the idea of being in love, but despite their expectations to, y’know, be in love, they’d rather just ravish over the idea and put up walls to defend when cupid finds them. Then sit there and wonder why they can’t find anyone.

Before I’m crucified by my male peers for writing about some mushy love shit (I know you’re out there — snickering) hear me out. Tell me you don’t to some degree fantasize about being married. Having kids. You won’t run the streets and chase tail ’till your 50. If you do, hats off. You’re a better man than me. When it’s all said and done, I quote Chris Rock — married and bored or single and lonely — ain’t no happiness nowhere.

Let me re-focus on Fiona’s song though. She admits that she wants to be in love. She wants it. Yearns for it. Then it comes around and she gets defensive. She wants to be left alone. She pushes away. Makes excuses. Finds reasons to not be in love. Why?

It begs the question — does anyone actually want to be in love? Do you want to be in love, or are you in love with the idea of being in love? And when you do find it, why does everyone decide marriage is appropriate at the same age? Set a goal for being married by 25 and meet that goal. Why not 18? Why not 38? 56? Why rush or push something away because it doesn’t meet what you thought your life goal was.

I recognize children is an issue with this. Real nigga Mike says, you mise well get a girl knocked up a couple of times and have a baby momma. Just one baby momma. Two or three is where it gets sticky.

But really, I look into myself and can’t agree more with Fiona’s interpretation of herself. I do this all the time. Petty things ruin a girl for me. My own insecurities. My own selfishness. Inability to let anyone in (god, girls CRUCIFY me for this — and they ALL recognize it & call me out.) I can sit here and think to myself what a catch I am. And then recognize that, as the genius Morrissey said, if you’re such a catch why are you alone tonight?

That’s not to say I’m alone, crying and moping all day. Who does that? This isn’t meant to be sad & droopy. Shoulders humped and head hung low. Fuck that. I’m fine. I just love self-realization.  Knowing why I do what I do. I think everyone loves that.

So today I’m realizing that I need to stop being Dwight Howard when a girl shows interest. Subconsciously thinking to myself, how can I absolutely ruin this?

Oh and for what it’s worth, here’s some entertainment. I couldn’t get over this goon of a nigga trying to sing the same Fiona song this post is about.


About realmikeclark

23-year old Journalism & Psychology graduate of the University of Connecticut.
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