I always had a slight fascination with gas station convenience stores.
People don’t go to gas stations because they really want to. Sure, people aren’t being literally dragged to them, but if your car is running out of gas, you have to go to a gas station. Maybe you have a few to pick from. Maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter, the end result is you, in a gas station, buying gas.
Nobody’s going to a gas station for sightseeing, either. Sure, if they’re by a tourist trap, tourists will be there, but they didn’t come to see their top of the line Slurpee machine. As far as the whole convenience store bit goes, people don’t go for low prices, great selection, or high-quality product, they go because it’s convenient. Unlike the “super” in supermarket, the name “convenience store” is accurate.
All this serves to make gas stations a sort of magical place. Think about it, if you were going to say, hide an underground bunker, a gas station is the perfect spot. I mean, people want to minimize time spent in a gas station, not maximize it. Nobody’s going to search for the thing. You could hide anything in a gas station, nobody would care.
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Massive, primeval beings that blot out the sun. They lay, uninterested, far above the world I know. Walls envy them, but obstruction is not their purpose. They exist to exist. A spire to unending stubbornness, waiting eons for their eventual erosion. I feel as though I can see their pulse, though they breathe no air. Truly, they frighten me. They enclose me without trying, with jagged rocks to deter escape through them. They are my protectors, the giver of all life. Their rivers feed a thousand like myself. I fear them nonetheless, an animal-like response to things beyond comprehension, their sheer size and weight impossible to truly understand . In their shadow, I am infinitesimally small.
As soon as I figured out what my writing style really was, I was a bit disappointed. Really, the things I wrote before figuring this whole fiction thing out were far more… “stupidly optimistic” about themselves. Like, of course I can write with this strange gimmick, why not? Now, I’d shudder, knowing such things rarely work well, at least for me. Of course, I still experiment, but not in the broad strokes that I used to. When you don’t know any better, you make some very interesting failures.
So, I did it, right? I developed something of a style, a distinct voice of my own. I should’ve been ecstatic, but I wasn’t. I had taken too much (probably undue) pride in my wild experimentation. It hurt my pride to find that I had “settled down”, as it were. What do writers do when they realized they’ve written themselves into a rut without having written all too much at all? I had, and still have, no clue.
Most writers I’ve met are hopelessly self-critical. Or they were in possession of massive egos. I came to the hypothesis that if you wrote very well, you probably were someone worth avoiding in real life. As such, I have no intention of asking them anything. Still, having friends become so familiar with your style to the point that upon their first reading of a story they say “it’s definitely something you wrote” is deeply, unreasonably maddening. It ruined my long-held illusion that I wrote everything under the sun, that each piece was utterly unique from the rest. So, as a writer, I’m guessing I lean on the “massive ego” side of things.
I’d love to make this the start of some motivational piece, but I can’t. I still don’t know much of anything. As for why I’m posting this here, I guess it’s feasible that someone could relate. Doesn’t do me much good sitting on my hard drive. Anyway, I fully plan on at least spacing out these rambles, hopefully with stories in-between.