Ekonoline http://ekonoline.com Welcome to Plan B. Thu, 19 Jun 2008 06:39:15 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.5.1 en Refuge of the Soul http://ekonoline.com/2008/06/19/refuge-of-the-soul/ http://ekonoline.com/2008/06/19/refuge-of-the-soul/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2008 06:39:15 +0000 Brian Gilham http://ekonoline.com/?p=166 Sitting at my desk, surrounded by books and wires, it occurs to me that life can play some pretty dirty tricks on us sometimes. Sure, once in a while it’s something big. Someone you know gets hit by a car or your dog dies. Maybe you find out your sister has cancer. Usually, though, it’s those small little things that seem to knock you on your ass the most. Those quiet little thoughts that sneak up on you at three in the morning and leave you sitting at the edge of your bed in a cold sweat. Those thoughts that leave you alone, on a dark night, drinking and writing.

Writing is one of the last refuges of the soul that is unable to be honest with itself. In words and punctuation, I find courage. The courage to say that which I cannot in day to day living. The courage to confront the demons inside of me. Mostly, I think I write to confront the past. An odd thing for someone so young to do, to be certain, but it is something I do nonetheless.

The truth is, we all lie to ourselves each day. We convince ourselves to perceive reality as something far different from what is intended and we tell ourselves little white lies to get through the hours we inevitably spend working at jobs we hate or in conversation with people we detest. Writing transcends these borders and allows me to come out of myself. At risk of sounding cliché, I pour my heart and soul onto the page and present it to the world. It is a cry for understanding and love. Like any serious writer, I bring people into my world through the written word and hope that they fancy staying for a while.

I feel immensely blessed to have people in my life who, upon entering that world, have decided they rather like it. Some have been a part of my world for many years now and I can say with the utmost certainty that, in that shared bond, there is love.

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24 Frames Per Second http://ekonoline.com/2008/06/18/24-frames-per-second/ http://ekonoline.com/2008/06/18/24-frames-per-second/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2008 04:18:00 +0000 Brian Gilham http://ekonoline.com/?p=165 Dear Morris,

Apologies for not writing sooner. Lately, the days have been a haze of ceiling fans and thunderstorms. Cigar smoke and afternoon naps. I haven’t been sleeping much lately, choosing instead to while away the hours watching television and trying to remember to eat once in a while. Mental masturbation, all of it. I should be working. We’ve been on leave for the last three weeks, not that there’s anything to do around that dirty, old warehouse anyway. I suppose sitting around at home is better than hanging around the loading bays, waiting for something to happen.

I remember when I was 15, working at the movie theatre we used to have in town. Do you remember it? It used to be the place to go for a while, before all the high school kids lost interest and they opened that giant multiplex the next town over. Sometimes I miss working there. Well, I wouldn’t really want to be there now, at the age of 22, but I miss the mentality we all had.

It was a bunch of high school kids working there, for the most part. Bored, stupid, immature high school kids with nothing else to do. We didn’t have much in the way of responsibility, but nobody really paid much attention to us anyway. We’d hang out and talk about things like school and girls. We’d watch free movies and eat all the popcorn we could handle. When one round of shows finished, we’d quickly sweep up any obvious garbage, run the next group of customers through, and get back to being as unproductive as possible. The owner, an old guy with a disfigured right hand and missing a toe on his left foot, rarely left his office upstairs.

I learned how to work the projectors, the result of many a late night spent watching Paul, the projectionist, ply his craft with precision and skill. It’s a dying art form, movie projection. With the move to automated, self-threading machines, Paul was one of the few unionized projectionists left working in the country. By the time I left the theatre, at 16, he was long gone, replaced by fellow high school students. I miss the sound of the projectors at night, the machine-gun sound of 24 frames a second being beamed to the masses below. Upstairs in the darkness, surrounded by film, you could find peace.

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A Light in the Dark of the Night http://ekonoline.com/2008/06/14/a-light-in-the-dark-of-the-night/ http://ekonoline.com/2008/06/14/a-light-in-the-dark-of-the-night/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2008 06:42:05 +0000 Brian Gilham http://ekonoline.com/?p=164 After an evening spent eating birthday cake and swapping stories with Whitney and a few of her friends, I began the long trek home in the pouring rain. Realizing that it was almost 2:00am, I nipped into 7-11 for two cans of Rockstar. One for tonight and one for the morning. A quick trip down the highway and I turned down my street, only to see a car reversing down the street fairly quickly. Finding it odd, but nothing unusual for a Friday night, I continued down the road.

That’s when I spotted the car in the ditch. The back bumper was stuck on the back of the ditch, while the front was wedged into the rise on the other side, facing the road. Even with how slick the roads were, it’s hard to imagine the move the driver must have had to pull in order to end up in such a jam. Concerned that someone might have been injured, I pulled over, hit my blinker, and started walking back toward the car. Running through my first-aid and CPR courses in my head (information I haven’t used in almost four years, but always seems to come back to me in times of need), I prayed everyone was okay.

As I approached the car, I realized that the driver’s-side door was hanging open, the occupant nowhere to be found. A young couple pulled over and told me they had already called 911. It turned out they had witnessed the car driving on the wrong side of the road and saw it fly into the ditch. They had been the car I saw reversing down the road — they were looking for a street name. The driver, they said, was extremely intoxicated. Apparently, he had already tried to drive the car out of the ditch a number of times. Considering the location of the accident, right in front of a house where two small children live, I was shocked.

While waiting for the paramedics and police to arrive, we watched as the driver drunkenly stumbled out of someone’s backyard and climb back into the car. He seemed to be physically fine, up and walking around. The young lady waiting with us was concerned about our safety, so we kept a fair distance from the drunk. Afte