Writer's Commentary: Paralyzed

On Post: Paralyzed

Date: January 25, 2014

Find it here

Love as deadly virus is not an unheard of trope in music but this song hits it pretty hard. My instinct is usually to bring that to the page, that idea of love as something that unravels or destroys you. Here though I just focused on the idea of something getting its claws into people and driving them to madness.

However, I still thought I “should” make a go of it being specifically love which is where the idea of a love letter came from. I get nothing else from it though so I quickly abandon it again and concentrated on my first impulse.

In the midst of this contemplation, I encountered a man at a store who looked, for lack of a better way to put it, grey. He had grey hair and was wearing a grey suit so he appeared almost monochromatic. The sight of him really stuck in my brain and gave rise to this idea of pulling a grey man out of a situation where he had been, somehow, tortured into that condition.

At first, that was where the story stopped. This team finds him. He’s been trapped, restrained, and tortured to this husk of a person. Roll credits (if you will).

I couldn’t get satisfied with that though and I just sort of free wrote until I found something that worked more for me. That’s where I eventually got to the screens as some kind of Tommyknocker-esque talisman that was clearly bad for everyone and yet had a sort of undeniable draw for those who came near it. I’m particularly happy with the letter writer’s description of how the screens made her feel, that combination of giddy transgression and simple pleasure, because, for some reason, their proximity to each other and their juxtaposition makes the situation creepier to me. All illicit desire feels empty and all easily achievable enjoyments feel not important enough but the two paired…that rings the bell louder for me (and hopefully others as well).