The Storyteller's Curse

A fiction author is a glorified liar.  The curse caught up to me before I ever spent too much time writing however.  Back then I was just a liar, or, well, a teller of tall tales.  I turned to imaginary stories over and over again through the years to keep myself from the boredom death, those million yawns that drag a soul down into the bottomless nothing.  More than once storytelling landed me in trouble, but one time will always stand out as the worst.

While in the East Baton Rouge drug court program, which happened to be in jail, my freedom depended upon my performance.  I did very well with leadership in their AA program, becoming a group leader and helping other inmates to face their addictions.  Boredom considers jail one of its strongholds, however, and it arrived in full force to shove a semi-permanent somnabulism down my throat.  I fought back.

During AA meetings, which the drug court program held around 50 times a day, there was an outspoken old convict.  Every meeting he told stories of his infamy and notoriety.  He was the hippest of all outcasts, the 'victest of the 'victs.  I sensed a challenge to my storytelling.

Before too long I had told stories that very believably made me sound almost as bad a person as him.  None of it was true.  All of it went down on my permanent record though.  The counselor's in that program graded performance based on how deeply a person was enmeshed in the negativity of the drug scene.  With every story my personal satisfaction as a storyteller grew, but my chances of graduating from the program diminished until they were nil.

I went to prison because of my storytelling.  It was not the old fashioned D.O.C. penitentiary system, it was like a little country club, but it was still prison.  And I did write a novel there, and drew dozens of pieces of high quality head art.  The fact remains I sacrificed a lot to tell a story. 

These days I try not to be so believable, or else people might believe.  Then again, I have also written very little fiction as of late.  I'd go to hell and back to avoid another situation in which peacefully telling stories could cost me my freedom.  But come to think of it, going to hell and back is the thing that has worried me recently.  Ah, c'est la vie.
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Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die