James L. Secor

The short answer: because I can’t not.

Once I was in a position where I could not write. I sat around waiting for someone to come and put me out of my misery.

Once I died. That I’m here to say so means this was a near death experience. Internal hemorrhage. The Grand Canyon of intestinal hemorrhages. But I was saved. I did not want to be saved. Those moments were the first moments of pleasure and silence. No more abuse. No more burdens. No more pressures. Since I was saved from such horrors–from the point of view of the undead–I figured I might just as well burden the world with my verbosity. I just don’t write about that time. No one wishes to believe it, the more so as there were no Christian overtones–thank goodness!

I have a friend who also died and was brought back. He didn’t want to be saved either. But the doctors and his loved one did their duty by him, they believe. Now, he’s got half a body and his musical career is down the drain and life is many times for difficult for him than it was before. At least I can still engage my egoism.

We sometimes joke about our time out. For him, the world was upside down. Occasionally, even now, the world goes upside down. My first thought was, “How did the cat box get up here?” I had no recollection of falling.

He has taught himself to play the guitar with his left hand. Why? Because there is no life without his music. He occasionally performs in public. The last time I saw him, this was with bass guitar and drums behind him. Considerably more complicated than the plodding, combat boot centipedal coverage found in rap.

My parents took my writing away: I had no privacy and was damned for writing my feelings. My mother would leave me damning notes on my writing and my journal entries.

I had a severe concussion that ruined my concentration and made making contact with people nearly impossible, certainly not to the extent as before. Ruined my life.

I suffered lithium toxicity, which gives you stroke-like symptoms called encephalopathy.

I had a TIA. The hospital took four hours to do any testing and, of course, found no cause. Ergo, I suffered syncope (fainting). I can remember everything.

I’ve undergone TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation, in an attempt to help my treatment resistant depression (half of my genetic blessing). What eventually helped was getting into a caring, supportive environment.

I’m still writing. Because no ability to write is worse than status asthmaticus, which I have lived through. Have you ever not been able to breathe?

Screw the “I’ve written since I was a child.” Screw the “I fell in love with words.” This kind of cliché, sentimental apocryphal crap is worthless.

I write because there’s nothing else I can do, because without writing there is no life.

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