Write It Down
Posted by Carl Incognito
Writing, in whatever capacity, is spawned by many things. With me it was personal discourse. You know when you catch yourself in mid-dialogue in your own head, and realize that the back and forth has actually made perfect sense? (Janet Conner clearly did, before she wrote Writing Down Your Soul.) If so, you probably also know that such a moment is often fleeting. One’s own personal truth is sometimes a real slippery thing to try and capture. Especially the kind that is sparked by complex or confused issues. I live and work in the underworld, which is to say that I own and operate a bar, (used to be two, but I dummied up) so issues and instances that provide confusion are as abundant as Oregon rain. There have been many, many times in these moments of clarity when I’ve asked myself, “should I be writing this down?”. The very existence of this blog means the answer turned out to be yes.
By any measure, I’m a very lucky man. I was born in a great country, to a loving, traditional family who taught me well. I’m able bodied, educated, was never abused, and have no significant emotional issues. I appreciate my good health, because I learned first hand about poor health. And all of these things, along with many others, make me an extreme minority in this underworld. The majority is made up of staff and many, many patrons who simply aren’t as lucky as I. There are broken homes, abuse, drug use, unfamiliarity with common decency. There’s ignorance and misplaced anger. Bars tend to attract those that need answers. Sadly, they’re likely to find numbness and more questions.
Along with my business partner, I am the boss. I am also the face of the establishment. In the almost 13 years I’ve been there, my story has become known. This tenure, and my fair dealings, have reinforced my leadership qualifications and allowed me to gain the trust of many. I also keep my eyes open, always, because this existence is about as far from boring as any.
So I’m involved. In the business, of course, but also in much of the personal chaotic goings on of employees and customers. Some of this involvement is of my choosing. Some certainly is not. But either way, I am charged with providing advice, direction, support, discipline, and a kind of shelter to those who are experiencing a myriad of personal dramas that I was only able to dodge by blind luck.
I can’t avoid this. I wouldn’t if I could. It comes with the territory. But the toll it takes is real. It’s exhausting. And it brings forth many questions of my own. Often, that question is “how is this possible?” or “what should I do this time?”. As I talk to myself in search of the answers to these questions I know will never come, I decided I better write some of that discussion down.
What follows in this space will be this discussion, and more.
About Carl IncognitoConservatives in liberal places are often in the shadows. Conservatives seeking jobs in liberal places depend on them.
Posted on August 2, 2011, in abuse, employer responsibilities, family, portland, small business, social responsibilities and tagged personal, social ills, underworld, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.