The Story of a House

My life was a house, it wasn’t perfect, very good looking, big or even very stable, but you wanted it anyway. I opened my door to you and you became part of this house, you made it better, fixed the holes in the walls and put a new coat of paint on the outside, you made it special. Then came the day you were dragged out, it was never the same without you, the paint peeled off, the walls began to crack, I was waiting and waiting for the whole thing to come crashing down. Then came a knock on my door and it was you, you said you couldn’t come in and that you were just visiting, but I was just happy you were back, but I tried and tried to get you to come back in, and it only made you leave again. That was the day our little house burned to the ground. I sat there in the ashes wondering what I had done to cause this catastrophe, and no matter how much it burned I couldn’t leave the ashes. When the fires burned out and the smoke cleared nothing was left but my safe, in which were the pictures of us and our memories. I opened it to find a pile of ashes as if they never happened at all. I could never forget the happiest times of my life so I took the ashes with me. I was told that it would be better to leave, start again with a new house, so I began to walk away. But it was as if the weight of the entire house was on my shoulders and every step was harder and more painful than the last, I wanted to go back, but I was reminded that there was nothing to go back to. But I’ve grown tired and I’ve fallen, only steps away from the ashes of my old house, I don’t have the will to get up and continue, I see you in the distance and I hope that you can find a better place to call your home, one that makes you happy. I will never forget you

My life was a house, it burned to the ground, I have the ashes to prove it…right here in my pocket with the memories of us. I’ve been sitting where I fell, steps away from the ruins of the happiest place I’ve ever been, you made it that way. I always did everything I could to make that house better for you, but what the hell does that even matter anymore. I wouldn’t give up hope that you would come back, hammer in hand ready to start anew, but even hope fades when you cut the ties between you and I. So I sat there, alone with the ashes in my hands, the tears rolling down my face turning my memories into black mud slipping through my fingers, but lucky for me, friends that are more than friends, family really. Although they never lived in my house they are loyal guests who are welcomed with an open door. They helped me to my feet, pointed me in the right direction, helped me take those difficult steps, but I still dragged my feet, because I couldn’t give up on our house, on my dreams, on you. But now I’m not so certain, I’ve lost sight of what I really want, what is happiness anyways but lack of sadness. I’ve laid the foundations of a new house, this one won’t be nearly as grand as the first but, it’s impossible to recreate pure beauty. Now, this doesn’t mean I gave up on you, on us, it just means I need a change of scenery I guess, I never liked the look of charred trees and blackened ground. The one thing that will never change though is my memories of us, our perfection, your smile. I’m not yet ready to put my flyers out yet, because to move into my house you have to be special, and I don’t know how they would be able to compare to you, but I’m going to wait for the next best thing. I just hope that once again our paths will cross, sometime when we can survive the bumps and out the fires before they become an inferno. “Nothing very good, or very bad, last very long”

My life was a house, that burned to the ground, yeah it phased me but did it stop me, hell no. I had my friends that are more like family to help me along this twisted journey. So I had laid the foundation for a new house, a better house, one that would be appreciated, and guess what, a knock came at my door, I knew it wasn’t going to be you, but it turned out to be better, this wonderful girl, hammer in hand, ready to help me build my new house, to become a part of it ever so slowly. I would rather have an amazing house take a year to make, and be structurally sound and sturdy enough to last even the roughest shit storms. The alternative was going back to what I had before, but with someone new, but I believe in new beginnings, and this was the best beginning I’ve ever seen, and I really hope that once this house is finished that this new, amazing girl will still want to be a part of it 🙂 here’s to many more good times to come

My life was a house, and it burned to the ground. It took me a while to be convinced that there was no use just sitting in the ashes, trying to fix what was permanently broken.

So I moved on, with the help of my friends, who are more than friends, but you already knew that. I started to lay the foundation, I got the ground floor all laid out, but that’s when you came to my door, I hadn’t known you very long, or at all in fact…I was surprised that a person of your league would even know I exist, much less want to help. But I was just so happy that I wouldn’t have to build this house alone, so I let you in and put you to work right away…bad choice on my part. Our house, we put it up in a week, and I knew I could have done a better job, made it more stable, took my time…but I was just too distracted by how perfect things were going, I thought we were closer than we were, that everything I was doing would seem normal for you and me, problem is, I moved to fast, put too much into our poorly built house…you heard the house falling apart long before I even had a clue, so you were scared and left without telling me. I am holding the whole house on my shoulders, trying to keep it from collapsing, then you have the nerve to tell me that I moved too fast, built too fast and that you couldn’t live in a place like that, with a person like me. Well, after that I just gave up, let the house crumble on top of me, sink to the ground, putting me right back into the despair that you helped me leave.

Although my brain tells me I have to get up, dust myself off, and move on from this place, it’s as if my heart is chained to the floor, and my body won’t even respond. At first, I called out for help, my friends coming to my rescue searching through debris following the sound of my voice, trying so desperately to help me out of this mess. But lately, my lungs have grown tired and have filled with dust, I can no longer call out to them, but they still now blindly search through the rubble, trying to help me. What’s the point of trying to build again, if the house just falls, again and again, time after time? I can’t sustain these houses without a partner to help me, but they’re so hard to come by, especially ones that want to be with me…so my outlook is bleak, and although I will rebuild, I will be alone in this house, trying to keep it from falling on top of me. Although I know somewhere down the line, in time to come, someone will take my offer, and live in this house with me, I don’t know if I will be able to keep it all from collapsing, I don’t want to have to move again, like I did in February, that was hard for everyone, and I just couldn’t do that again. I guess I won’t know until the time comes, but for now, I’ll just lay in what used to be our pile of rubble.

The History Behind Memory of Shane

I thought it was time to talk about my biggest project out there right now, my screenplay entitled Memory of Shane and its subsequent novel that I am writing. This story is really about two years in the making and since I am writing the novel version the idea continues to be ongoing.

The project started as a short story that I wrote for an advanced writing class about two years ago. I never imagined that I would write this story beyond this class because it was a good piece, and there were so many places I wanted to go with it, but the ten-page limit really made me believe that I was done. But, when the opportunity came to choose a story for my second screenwriting class (where our goal was to write the first draft of act one of a full-length screenplay) I jumped at the chance to explore my story again.

Writing the first act was so amazing. I really got to know the story down to its bones, and I knew the developing it into a screenplay would give me the opportunity to refine my dialogue skill to a new level. In my advanced screenplay class, we finished act two and looked toward the future for act three. I knew by the end of my advanced screenwriting class where I would go in the final act, it would be a few more months until I finished my complete first draft, and of course, there was a long editing period.

But where did this story come from? I will admit the story is a work of fiction, but as any writer will tell you, it is impossible for your real life not to make its way onto the page. The basis of Memory of Shane is a love story between Adriana, the young nineteen-year-old not looking for love and Shane the young writer hoping for his big break. What drove me to even start to write a love story was rooted in what happened in my own personal relationship with my girlfriend at the time in 2007.

I will write many blogs about the weeks and months that lead to my diagnosis. After leaving the psychiatric ward for the first time there was true chaos in my life. I was on new medication that I didn’t believe in. I had some idea where my life was heading, and so I was worried about the emotional toll that being in a relationship with me would be for my girlfriend. I loved her, and she was willing to stick it out with me, but I did the unthinkable and ended my relationship in a very Bipolar way. She came to my house and I broke up with her. I was a jerk there is no getting around that now. Looking back, I know my girlfriend would’ve stuck by me but it just wasn’t fair to her because, as I would find out, 2008 and 2009 were the worst years of my life.

What does this have to do with anything? Well with writing Memory of Shane I had the opportunity to explore if and how two people could coexist when one of the people in the relationship is bipolar. On some level, I wanted to imagine if a person like me could be in a healthy relationship. I worked so many scenarios in my mind that it gave me the ability to write a story that, at some level, could have been my own life. Our past choices are long gone now, but it’s great as a writer to explore your past through your writing.

It is almost impossible for my own life not to sneak into my writing, but in this work, my character Shane does reflect my own experiences with Bipolar One. We both fell in love at the start of our diagnosis although Shane tried to hold on to Adriana. Both Shane and I can trace our symptoms to our teen years. I even wrote a scene where Shane spends days laying down in his bed in complete darkness, I did so many times during my long cycles of depression.

Beyond the diagnosis, both Shane and I tried to take our lives three times, thought Shane was unfortunately successful becoming a statistic. There was a part of me that, when I wrote Shane’s death in the story, that once and for all that any thoughts of suicide in my own life were dead. I would no longer walk down that dark path that leads to suicide. It became true​ when I made the decision to end my character Shane’s life, I would lock that part of me away that piece of me forever.

After finishing my full-length screenplay of Memory of Shane it came down to if I would write the novel version. I put so much into this project, could I really do it again? It took months before I could revisit the idea again and eventually I gave in. It will be interesting for me to explore this story once again.

So, there is a little history on my project Memory of Shane.

J.E.Skye

Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters