I ):-( Dream Bill

Dreambill
It’s early.  It’ll be a little while till Robbye wakes up.  Anyone that follows her blog knows she’s been a bit of an insomniac of late.  My snoring contributes to that, and I am trying to get that under control.  It’s a difficult fight to fight, much less win, as I’m lightyears away when it’s happening.

That’s not the only reason she’s having difficulty sleeping, though.

Life, with all its promise and possibility, is a tenuous affair.  The phrase “passing through the eye of the needle” makes its way out of our mouths with notable frequency.  When all is said and done, we will be great.  In fact, despite a few nuts and bolts that need tightening, everything is great now.

But it—life itself—is a stressor…on myriad levels and in numerous forms.  Hell, for my own part, living right now feels more like the storming the beach at Normandy scene in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN than anything else.  I’m relieved simply to exit the day intact.  Taking the bunker isn’t even a consideration.

I know that this life—for all its positives—has proven to be a rough road for my beloved.  Rougher than I think was expected.  Definitely more bumpy than she deserves.

Which, of course, makes me love her all the more.  I often tell people that Robbye is the bravest person I know because she stepped into all this—the somewhat psychotic tempest that frames my existence—and she did so without hesitation.  And she stays here.  The fact that this wonderful woman doesn’t run screaming from the house on any given day amazes me.  The fact that she’s still here and that she loves me as she does lays me low.  It awes me.

Because I know that the pressure cooker of our life leaves her feeling blistered and burned at times.  I know she worries.  I understand she has fears.

Of course, she talks about them.  That’s good.  But the bigger, deeper worries and fears come out another way.  In an altogether more insidious manner.

Enter my new nemesis: Dream Bill.

Sleep is a precious commodity right now.  I am trying work the mornings to give her all she can get.  Thank heavens Boy and the dogs have been cooperating lately.  That’s the difference sometimes between 2-3 hours of sleep and 5-6 for her.  Every hour counts.  Because she not only loves sleep (as is well documented), but she needs it.  And she deserves the rest.

When Robbye wakes up, she likes to share her dreams with me.  She has about he most vivid and exciting dream life of anyone I’ve met.  Since I’m a person that rarely dreams, it fascinates me (and tires me out a little) to recount the excitement that unfolds as she slumbers.  Usually it’s fun to listen.  It’s a lot like Cute Overload…on psychedelics.

Then there are the other times.  When he shows up, and the party’s over.

Dream Bill does all sorts of raunchy and terrible things.  He disappears.  He runs off, even.  He says bad things and does even worse ones.  He’s an ass of unspeakable magnitude.  And when Robbye awakens, Dream Bill haunts her.  Casts shadows over her thoughts and a shroud over our morning.

It’s not as difficult as it used to be.  In past days we’ve logged serious time helping her see that Dream Bill and Real-Live Bill are two very different guys.  That I would never do the things Dream Bill does.

As we move farther along in our relationship, she’s more trusting this as opposed to intellectualizing it.  We find ourselves laughing about it more often than not.

Yet, occasionally, Dream Bill does something so deplorable that Real-Live Bill needs to answer for it.  Like last night.

There are times when I wish Dream Bill would take his own heat.  That I wasn’t taken to task for his crappy faults just because we share the same face and name.  He makes his bed, but I gotta sleep in it.  Which used to make me a little grumpy.

I’m learning something about Dream Bill, though, that lately has me appreciating the guy..if only a little.

Dream Bill represents—of course—my beloved’s deeper fears.  You don’t live 30+ years without gathering up more than a few of those babies, right?  And the scars we carry are, I believe, the windows to said fears.  They speak to their presence and validity.

Hell, I got ‘em.  We all do.  I think it’s part of what makes us, you know, human.  They’re part of the journey, and I’ve come to think of them more as badges of honor than baggage.

I know talking about Dream Bill’s shenanigans provides her a venue to talk about her fears and address the scars in a tangible way.  And a way to meet the fears head-on.  I realize if Dream Bill didn’t exist, we might not ever get a chance to talk about them, and our relationship would suffer for it.

So…Dream Bill.  I don’t like you, man.  You are—to put it mildy—an absolute dick.

But thank you.  I don’t know whether you mean to do this or not, but thank you for the light you shed on our relationship.  Thank you for giving us an opportunity to talk out some very important and foundational issues, which is making our life together better and our bond even stronger.

And thank you, Baby.  For your courage and for walking beside me every day.

And for your love.

Catching up

Dear friends,

Hello.  How are you?

I am fine.

Thank you for stopping by today.

What’s going on?  Oh, man!  Where do I start?

Remember this l’il thing?

Headhurts1

Apparently, I should be provide a little more explanation when I post something like that.

Reminds me of the time when I posted this (really bad) poem I wrote as a kind of nod to Pablo Picasso and Surrealism a couple of years back and promptly left town for a week to the lands beyond cell service coverage.  Oh, my…  Can you say voice mail messages?  Took me over a week to convince everyone that I was neither losing it nor suicidal.

Friends and family.  God love ’em, but sometimes it’s hard to be a writer trying to strut his stuff in their line of sight.

Oh, well…occupational hazard.

No one said it was gonna be easy.  Trying to understand a writer guy, yet trying to care about him at the same time, that is.  It requires a whole new compass than most folks are used to.  North doesn’t always point north.  What’s worse is north changes, sometimes shifting unexpectedly and for inexplicable reasons.  So you can’t obtain a compass for the purposes of getting a good read on us writer types.  You gotta build ’em from scratch.

Oh, well…all guys like me can hope is that the rest of you think it’s worth the trouble.

That said, from the "What I really meant" department, comes this:

I had a lot going on.  I tried to write it all out in a sort of "let’s catch up with Bill" missive, but there was so much to say.  It gave me a head ache.  My creative response to said cranial distress was to let the long, rambling post go and simply (and, I thought, humorously) "depict" my feelings over trying to describe the myriad plates I had spinning at the time.  The rest, as they say….

In truth, everything was fine, though I admit that I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed of late.  Hyperactivity, with rarely enough energy to tackle each zone of my crazy/beautiful life with the gusto, creativity, and passion it deserves.  There have been many days, in fact, when I’ve felt like I’m losing ground everywhere.  And even moments when I’ve felt like an utter failure.

Then again…that’s nothing new.

Occupational hazard…of being me.

But the strike is over, and far from my previous fears, Hollywood seems to be welcoming me with reasonably open arms.  Yeah..check this out–

  • It’s not out of the realm of possibility that RUNAWAY could see some sort of distribution in the near future.
  • The management company I would like to work with seems genuinely interested in working with me.
  • I am in very active talks with a very reputable production company to develop a real, live Hollywood movie (a proposed budget in the mid-eight figures was tossed onto the table yesterday).
  • I have a good bead on (and have been highly recommended to) a great agent at a major agency.
  • INCARNATION, all of a sudden, is getting a lot of attention and seems to be taking on a life of its own.
  • As I plan on making a pilgrimage to the Tower of Tinsel in the next few weeks, people seem to really wanna meet with me.  For the first time ever, I think that my dance card will be full–with real and meaningful meetings to show for it.  Yikes!
  • If I play my cards right, I’ll have a first draft new spec script (which already has parties interested in reading it) ready to show the world by the end of March.

Holy crap, right?  Makes my head spin.  Mostly in a good way.

SagePresence is going equally well.  People are really responding to it, and we’re getting opportunities to speak and train all over.  The biggest problem there is there’s only three of us.  At some point in the VERY near future, we will have need to hire someone (or somones) to help us manage this thing.  Especially as word about what we’re doing spreads outside the Twin Cities, as it’s beginning to do so.  It’s quite amazing and scary cool.

Funny how this professional speaking thing so powerfully supports the screenwriting career, and vice versa.  Equally, how much fun I’m having going around and talking to folks.  Having such an immediate, profound, and positive impact for people–seeing it on their faces and hearing their stories of trouble and triumph–really makes my day.

And home…  With respect to that, let me simply say that Georges Seurat would be proud.  As I am proud of us.  All of us.  Yesterday, I noticed a piece of me was calm in the face of an otherwise tubulent day.  That piece was the one associated with home.

It was a bit of a surprise, as honoring this Great Love, this great family, and "putting it together" hasn’t always been the most calm of affairs.  But yesterday’s discovery spoke volumes.  It spoke of healing.  It spoke of health and happiness.  It spoke of peace and prosperity.  It spoke of adventure and accomplishment.  It whispered in my ear, visions of the future that brought a smile to my lips.

Today, my head doesn’t hurt.  Nothing has changed, except for today I feel a little less overwhelmed by this crazy/beautiful life.  That’s all.

Because I know head aches come with the job description.

Husband.

Dad.

Partner.

Speaker.

Friend.

Family.

Screenwriter.

Superhero.

None of ’em easy.  All of ’em worth it.

Dear friend…I hope you are well, too.  I look forward to catching up again in the near future.

Best to you and yours.  Let’s get together soon!

Yours TRUE-ly,

Bill

Two years ago…

We were painting what was then my bedroom.

In a house that must have felt like a ton of bricks on her soul, I was trying to create weight-free oasis.  Someplace that could feel hers.

We’d already moved well beyond talk of "possibly" moving in together.  The "ifs" were long gone.  Our conversations landed solidly in the "whens" column.

Then again, as we were working and dancing and singing and joking and smooching, I knew something she didn’t know.  Or at least I thought I did.  Turns out she knew it was coming, but not quite at that moment.  Come to think of it, I didn’t really know it was coming quite that day, myself.

Yet, it wasn’t a concept to me.  It was a certainty.  And only after all was said and done, could I share with her, for example, why I was so quiet, like "such a freak" all New Years Day, just a month earlier.  It was because, if I opened my mouth, it would spill out.  There simply was no holding it back.

But back to painting.  It was another day like New Years.  Every brush stroke seemed to whisper it to me: "Say it.  Say it…"  As the walls came to life, they called out: "Tell her.  Tell her…"

We were taking a break.  We were tired from going at it (and I don’t mean "in the good way") all day.   Exhausted, in fact.  We were sitting on the couch having one of those intense and yet quiet conversations.  You know…the ones you have with…well…the one.

And I am sitting there, and I am thinking, "Oh, my god…  This is the moment."

Plans be damned!

Hadn’t showered in two days?  Who cares?

Dressed in dirty, smelly painting clothes?  Whatever…

I got down on one knee, and I started talking.  I have no idea what I said.  I am guessing that I was babbling.  I am guessing Robbye thought I was babbling, too.

But I caught her attention when I said this…

"Will you do the honor of marrying me?  Will you be my wife?"

There was about a three second span where I thought she might say, "What the hell are you talking about?!?"

Turns out she was a little stunned.

In the next second, though, I got my relief.

"Of course!  Yes!"

At this point, I would say that the rest is history.  But there is one more movement to the story that not many people know.  Not enough people, anyway.

Robbye, Lucy (her dog), and M.P. (her cat) were staying the weekend at the house.  Kind of a "trial run" for the pets.  See how they would fare in the insanity…not to mention with the three other animals already running the joint.

Robbye didn’t have kids before all this.  For the most part, she’d lived on her own.  Robbye, her dog, and her cat…in a little pink house in St. Paul, in an apartment that was about the size of my living room.   Needless to say, life was a lot quieter.  A lot simpler.

Okay, then…on top of that…add…you know…THE HOUSE.  THE HISTORY…  Ack…

When I talk about our coming together, I tell people that Robbye is the bravest person I know.  Yes, because she said "yes" to the "Will you marry me?" question.  But more significantly to how she answered the next question to tumble out of my mouth that day.

"Now, will you just stay home?"

To which she answered, "I guess I’ll need to get some clothes."

I tell Robbye that the three smartest things I ever did in my life where these:

I called the girl, I asked the girl, I married the girl.

Two years ago today…  Proof positive, Baby.  Proof positive.

Rsy

About as proud as I can be…

Hell yeah, I’m bragging.
Hell yeah, this is a blatant plug!

If you happen to be in St. Paul, MN next Friday, stop on by. I’ve seen the goods, and they certainly will not disappoint!

If you can’t make it on the 21st, her photos will be displayed through October. Otherwise, check out her website: www.robbyelossing.com.

I’ve had more fun watching Robbye prepare for this than I’ve had in a long time. Today, we picked up a slew of large format prints. They were all packed up in cardboard and bubble wrap, and uncovering them felt like Christmas morning…with Robbye as the lucky duck that got the bestest present in her stocking.

How fun to see her giddy. To laugh unabashedly. How cool to see her so excited.

And this from the girl who, a mere year-and-a-half or so ago, answered my query about whether she was a photographer with, “I guess I take a picture or two.” Yeah…I guess so, too.

Congrats, my love! I can’t wait for your big debut.
Robbyeflier_2

The Luckiest

Okay, folks. What can I say? By now, you know me too well…right?

Radio silence… Hmmmm… Must mean..?

Here’s the deal: when The One comes along, you don’t sit on your hands. ‘Nuff said. But before I redirect y’all to the happy announcement by now y’all are absolutely anticipating, I want to share this…

It’s lyrics. Another song I wrote for my beloved. I haven’t had time to record it yet, but I sang it to her on Valentine’s Day, two days after we became engaged. This was my first wedding vows to her, and the remain today and Always in my head, my heart, my soul. Like her.

To my wife, Robbye…
Sacredground

Ben Folds said it, but I know it:

I am
I am
I am…the luckiest.

Now here’s the link to click–> THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

P.S. — what my wife said. My heart melts.