Nay, good reader verily I say unto thee, I shall not.
The space between the last line and this was just for dramatic effect, in case you were wondering. If it didn't work, say nothing and it may just go away. If it doesn't go away, say nothing anyway. Instead of all that Star Wars-y stuff (I don't think they need any extra publicity right now, do you?) I am prepared to open up another battered little cardboard box and let loose the thought that it contains.
My dark side is something - hopefully, self-evidently - that I'm not very proud of, but it's real, it's truthful, and I don't think it's at all unique, so let's take a quick look at it, kick it around the playground like an empty Coke can, after which we can run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it (which would, I admit, be a little strange).
Part of me would like it a lot if I was the perfect, fully rounded human being (I'm working on the fully-rounded bit by eating as much bread as is humanly possible). The more sensible parts of my psyche then tap that part of me on its metaphorical - or is that 'metaphysical' - you choose - shoulder and point out that the perfect person would be utterly insufferable to most flawed humans. This would probably manifest itself in a short life span, caused by a rampaging mob who had collectively agreed that Peter Perfect was just too much of a pain in the rear end to be allowed to survive. So, perhaps it's not a bad thing that I'm such a long, long way away from being that kind of a person.
When it comes to writing, I have a few features which comprise the 'dark' side of my character. I'm a bit lazy, for one thing. For another, I have a very low level of confidence - although were I to become suddenly successful/well known, I have a nagging suspicion that I would turn into an arrogant, self-important shithead. *Therapists: my contact number will be at the end of this blog post.*
I believe, however, that the darkest of my literary dark...um...bits...no, wait...um...parts - no, that's worse...aha - aspects - that's the word...is envy. Yes: it's nasty, wasteful and unkind - but it's human. I enyy the success of others. Worse: I actually resent the success of some - and specifically I resent the almost instant 'bestseller' status bestowed upon celebrities simply because their name sells books, no matter what the subject. I doubt very much that many of them have any more skill than I, yet success is assured, because they are already rich (in most cases) and famous. Sigh...
Now please don't misunderstand me: I do appreciate that successful writers (the Kings, Rowlings, Connellys etc. of this world) are skilled, are very good at what they do, and that they have in almost every circumstance, worked extremely hard to achieve their respective success. I don't begrudge them their success, but I do envy them.
Oddly enough (or perhaps: not at all), it's not as simple as envying their financial positions - after all, I long ago abandoned the childish dreams of being fabulously rich. These days, my dreams are of living the rest of my life simply, with the people that I love, and with the time and the space to fully appreciate the best things about being a conscious, cognitively active person with a fairly healthy - if slightly misshapen - lump of meat carrying my brain around on top of it. No: I envy the huge names of the literary world less, in actual fact, than I do those people who make a reasonable living from their writing.
My envy centres around my dreams of living on a parcel of land upon which my gorgeous lady and I grow almost all of our own food (I'm NOT keeping a cow, at any price!), regularly host our (as yet, non-existent) grandchildren and their parents, but basically live a life quiet and peaceful enough for us to do what we wish when we wish it (something that I think is - ironically - denied the world's most successful people in any field). It's not a very impressive dream by many standards, but it's as much as I want.
One day - so I dream - I hope to look up from my keyboard and look out across our small piece of Canada, and drink in its beauty and its peace and its reality. I might go to the sash window (I can picture the room in my mind's eye) and open it to breathe in the air, listen to the birdsong and smell the scent of the trees and wild flowers before returning to my desk and writing some more nonsense. This simplistic yet so deliciously seductive wish feeds my envy.
Perhaps, one day, I'll get there. Maybe - just maybe - I will find myself in that wonderful situation, and I will be able to support our dream lifestyle through the ramblings of my imagination and/or memory. My envy feeds my desire to achieve that target, and so I will no longer rebuke it, or chastise it, and neither will I try to discard it. I will instead accept it as a real part of who I have become in the last fifty years, and since that small, shy boy set off on his life journey feeling so very frightened of what might be waiting for him. And there will be cookies...
Hello Darkness, my old friend...