My imagination often tortures me. Does yours get the better of you? When I was ten, The Blob (trivia-Steve McQueen’s first leading role), gave me the night sweats for an entire year and I wouldn’t venture near anything resembling a vent. Next it was Goya who tormented me with his painting, Saturn Devouring His Son. A father eating a child does things to a twelve-year-old’s mind. For quite some time, I stayed away from utensils and my dad. Even a can of peas and carrots had its way with me. A reoccurring nightmare at age fourteen–cubed carrots screaming as they were mercilessly squashed by brutal farmers wielding cast iron shovels, while the opportunistic peas rolled away to safety.

Today, (as I sit in my sub studio watching leggy spiders flutter by like creeping creative angels) imagination helps sometimes but not always. Brain shit rattles around like the crap I might throw up in my attic or shove into some dark basement corner. Emptying mind bins of mildewed magazines that smell worse than the son’s wrestling singlet after a dual meet is futile. Piles accumulate with no end in sight. Most of this junk is unusable and will be thrown onto a flimsy folding table for a grand going-out-of-business sale. This is my writing process. This is my art process. This is what I do. Peas rolling away to safety. When fingers get boxed-in, ideas flatten beneath cast iron shovels.

There is also something else my imagination does. This is the worst part of all. It self-inflicts pain whenever I mind-travel to places I should never go with people I should never go with. Sometimes, I disregard my sadistic demons to ride bareback on the gorgeous, powerful Percherons there. Magnificent beasts that galloped off Bonheur’s painting, The Horse Fair. Year by year, my dark matter loosens a bit more. Nights now mimic spaceflight. I survive by staying awake. If I don’t sleep while dreaming, I can’t get into any trouble. When I misbehave, the spiders stop hanging with me. They always know my truth. And without these creeping creative angles, my imagination might just get too strong a foothold. If this happens, I’ll never be able to find my way back. The spiders know one more lousy truth about me. My sense of direction absolutely sucks.

hall monister

hall monister



10 thoughts on “torture

  1. Wicked cool Spider AnnMarie can’t understand why this one isn’t hanging in a musuem yet. I remember while sleeping a spider came down and landed in my eye. Watching Countess Dracula. Love those 70s horror movies. They don’t make him like they used to. AnnMarie= Number one! woo hoo!


  2. Yes, as you probably can imagine, my mind/imagination tortures me. As a matter of fact, it’s doing so right now.
    “Self-inflicting pain”–I thought I held the land title on that one.
    I do hope you get enough sleep; you need your sleep, AM.
    Love this spider. Funny, but spiders I’m not afraid of, they don’t scare me at all.
    I like learning about writers’ processes–I’m glad you wrote about yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Emptying mind bins of mildewed magazines that smell worse than the son’s wrestling singlet after a dual meet is futile.” — okay, you got a LOL at this line! 🙂 Really! 🙂
    Eons ago when I was teaching high school English in a country town school (32 in a graduating class) we hosted a visiting Japanese teacher. He was a runner and got up every morning much earlier than us, to go out and run. We’d then have breakfast together and walk the 4 blocks to the school. We gave him our bedroom (there was only 1) and we slept on a pull-out couch in the living room — the old kind with the bar that killed your back! One day I walked into our bedroom as I’d run out of clothes and needed something….he was in the small town, shopping for sourvenirs. And WOW — I smelled the most AWFUL smell! I couldn’t figure it out! Until my nose gravitated to the floor by the bed and spied his running shoes peeking out…UGH! So I can relate to this line and it really is hilarious! 🙂 Cannot imagine what the guys locker room smells like! 😦

    Ah my friend….those spider angels love ya! 🙂 So here’s to no more canned peas and carrots (double ugh) and your wonderful creative process! )

    Liked by 1 person

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