Ever notice how some things in life move sideways never reaching an ending point? Think about it. We, as humans, sidestep responsibility every day. Something as common as procrastination slips neatly into this very list. We step around fellow human beings’ feelings. We even deny our own intuition, telling ourselves things are one way when we know they’re another.; or convince ourselves that something is all right to do when we know it’s not. These are just a few examples.
Similar traits can even be found in the animal kingdom. Look at the industrious male lion. He sleeps twenty-three hours a day, awakens for an hour; half an hour to eat what the lionesses have killed and the other half hour is spent killing whatever is trying to eat what he’s eating. Then it’s yawn, burp, hack up a ten pound fur ball and back to sleep utterly exhausted unless he can manage two or three additional minutes to make a baby lion. Categorically speaking I’d place this in “shirk responsibility personified.”
And now for the winner in the side step competition. I live near the east coast and have had a lot of fun over the years crabbing…Crabbing you say? Well allow me to explain the fine art of wrangling the Atlantic blue crab! These tasty crustaceans are of course caught commercially and greatly prized for their delicious flesh. I want to focus more on the recreational crabber…Crabber, crabber, crabber. Sounds funny if you keep saying it.
Anyone who braves the briny deep in search of the elusive blue crab first and foremost must stake a claim on a pier or stationary boat. My personal choice of capture device or crab pot is a six-sided square metal cage. The sides are actually hinged doors that open when the cage sets on the sea floor, allowing total access to the bait tied to the interior of the cage. Once the crabberman (when you need a word, make it up, that’s what I always say, and or do) pulls the cord to raise the pot. The doors close, trapping the bug-eyed delicacies inside.
Now this is where an amazing thing happens. When the trap touches the pier and the doors open, the Atlantic blue crab looses the ability to move in a forward motion. It dances sideways out of its transport, its little legs clicking and clacking as it moves. It even easily manages to travel in a backward motion, claws raised in a graceful crustacean ballet, not to mention its desperate flight for life.
This notion of walking sideways to avoid responsibility, protect oneself, or just for a lack of direction, can easily apply itself to writing. Have you ever read a book that seemed to go nowhere or took so long to grab your interest you threw it down before it could do so. Of course you wouldn’t know if it ever could have peaked your interest since you canned it beforehand.
I however have the dubious honor of actually penning such works of boredom. If you gleam anything at all from my rambling, please let it be this….don’t write boring stories.