Friday, June 27, 2014

Idylls of the Thing

All right, so we’re roughly a month into living in Charlotte.  How do I like it so far?  I’m within walking distance of my sister (although, it’s hot and the air conditioning in the car is kind of awesome), and not too far from my mother, which will be great if I ever skin my knee.

And I just might, because this neighborhood, I have discovered, is great for skateboarding.  So that’s been going on.

Look: I miss my Greensboro friends desperately, and I miss the old haunts.  And I have discovered that when a Charlottean hears that I am from Greensboro, the response is usually, “Oh yeah, Greensboro – I know where that is.”  And I instantly get defensive, like my girl has been cold-dissed.  (“Greensboro’s one of the 100 biggest cities in the country, you dick.  It’s not exactly Mayberry.”)  But …

Charlotte stays open past ten.  I don’t know why Greensboro’s restaurants are so keen to shut down at ten.  Sure, you can get bar food later, but bar food is not really food.  (I will coin the term "crispy brown edibilia" to describe bar food.)  As night owls, we had only Cooper’s Ale House to serve full menu late into the evening.  Here in Charlotte, everything seems to be open late, and for that I am thankful.

Moreover, this neighborhood is wonderful.  The second day we were here, before daughter Skye got down here, I walked around and saw there were kids playing kickball in the park.  Not some weird modern version of kickball where some naked tattooed teens ironically kick a digital ball and then stab the loser (although that sounds rad), but real honest-to-god kickball.

And that’s the thing: everything in Charlotte so far has paradoxically been … bucolic, maybe?  Idyllic, perhaps?  This summer I’m waiting tables at a restaurant that is literally across the street from my house.  I get up at a normal hour and write.  And write.  It’s been bliss.

Those of you who know me know that I almost never go a day without writing.  But whether it’s the change in scenery, the change in schedule, or what – the writing has been going so incredibly well.  Since May 1st:

A full-length play called THE SKINNER MULE
A full-length screenplay called INTO THE FOREST OF GHOSTS
A short play called THE AMERICAN DREAM
Development on a new musical that I’m writing with my collaborator Chris Tilley.
Development on a graphic novel idea.
And I am right now 80+ pages into a full-length screenplay called THE OX.

It has been so liberating.  I’m not bragging – I’m just relieved.  Because before that, I worked on basically one story for an entire year.  Constantly noodling and fidgeting, never making anything better.  (The good news: in March and April this year, I finally hit a breakthrough with that script and finished it.)

There’s a convenience store around the corner where a nice woman with no teeth always tries to upsell me a “Co-cola.”  There’s a comic book shop on the corner where I found out that Dark Horse Comics has resurrected one of my favorite titles, CREEPY.  I’ve started drawing again, and rediscovering music (Mac Demarco, in particular.) 

Now if I can just keep from getting hit by a bus while crossing Providence, I think things might just work out nicely.


  1. Glad to hear you are writing so much and enjoying your neighborhood. Sounds like you'll be a local Charlottan soon (not sure if they use that term, but I always found it likeable). Stay happy and the rest will follow.

  2. I didn't know you could draw! Excellent. Can't wait to development on graphic novel.