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Thanks by Ray Printer Friendly

I want to say thank you. Oddly, this has nothing to do with the fact that it's almost Thanksgiving, here in America. It's just weird timing, I guess.

This is going to be a little mushy and sentimental, maybe, compared to my usual posts. But it needs to be said, so I guess we'll just have to deal with the mushiness.

I've read articles, and even Acknowledgment sections where the author says, "And thanks to all the people who doubted me, who said I couldn't do it. You gave me determination to do this."

I never really dug on that. The people who say you can't? The people who tell you to get a real job, to focus your determination on something that will make a difference? Screw them.

Dreams are hard enough to keep alive even when you don't have someone on your own side stabbing at them. So I will not be saying thank you to those people, not right now, and probably never. In all honesty, I have to admit that I do have a rather hateful email printed out and hanging on my bulletin board. But it's from someone who never really understood about dreams, and I have it hanging there only as a reminder.

It reminds me to not become that person. Sure, dreams are stupid. Hope's pretty dumb. But those things are also important. You can't buy food with dreams (not until we find a way to put them directly on video, anyway), and you can't use hope to make your car go.

But sometimes--and here is where I get incredibly cheesy--hope is the only fuel you have to make yourself keep going. Sometimes you need what dreams can give you more than you need food.

So I want to say thanks to the people that have given me hope, and encouraged me to dream.

I want to thank the people who have taken the time to read my stuff and say, "Hey, you're good at this. You should keep it up."

More importantly, I want to thank the people who have encouraged me to keep doing it when I felt like I should probably give it up. Because it's hard, striving for a pipe dream.

I'm a pretty pragmatic guy. Not the brightest of characters, but a realist. I know that I will more than likely never make a living doing this. Pounding out stories that almost nobody reads. Night after night, I sit at my desk and I stare at my monitor until my eyes are kicking me in the brain.

I imagine and I type. My princess goes to bed, alone, and I think about the words my step-father told me long ago: "When you have love like that, she's not going to expect much from you. But you need to go to bed together. There's something about that, it makes them feel like you're there with them."

I couldn't do it, though. That's not who I am, it's not who I ever was. Years ago, when we met, she would go to sleep, and I would sit at the miniature desk at the foot of the bed and I would listen to music and listen to her breathing change as she slept, and I would love her. And I would think about those words, that advice.

It's good advice.

But I can't follow it.

I know that's stupid. I know it is. But she understands, I think, and she curls up next to me when I finally make my way to bed.

Night after night, this is how it goes.

And even as I type, I know that there will probably never be a payoff. All this writing, all this sending my love to bed alone, I know that the chances of it ever working out are so miniscule that they aren't even worth mentioning.

Deep down, though, I tell myself that I will beat those odds. Because I am that good.

I tell myself this because even if I wanted to stop, I probably couldn't. I tell myself this because it makes it seem like I'm being productive instead of throwing my life away.

The thing is, no matter how much of an egotistical bastard you are--and I am a huge egotistical bastard--you eventually lose faith in yourself. You eventually lose hope.

And that's why I'm thanking you. Everyone who has ever encouraged me to write, anyone who has ever been in slight awe of the fact that I can create a story and share it with others. The people who take the time to read the things that I write, and tell me that they liked it. The people who support me.

My hope runs dry sometimes, and I find that maybe it's not such a big deal if I keep going. Maybe it doesn't matter. Why should I sit down at my computer and look at a blank white screen when I could be looking at an episode of South Park?

Then I think about the people who want to read what I write, the people who have told me that I make a difference.

And I write.

So thanks.


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