You Find it Nonetheless

You Find it Nonetheless

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche I stood atop of the rooftop of the Chicago apartment and looked over the skyline. We were on the north side of the city. My side of the city. The day was magnificent. There was nary a cloud in the sky. Spring was beginning in the city and the air was beginning to melt under the crispness of winter’s bite. I stood on that rooftop in my jeans, in my cardigan, in my soft T-shirt, in my tan Vans, with my black, cheap sunglasses atop of my little Irish nose. It was picturesque. To prove this claim, I will include a picture in this post, something I rarely do for you. I love this town… A post shared by Mike Hansen (@fattyhansen) on Apr 23, 2016 at 4:08pm PDT We were celebrating one of my best friends’ end of bachelorhood. A tradition that usually involves scantily clad women, becoming more scant while the men indulge in an overabundance of alcohol. We did not carry on that tradition for Joel. There were no scantily clad women. There were no bare breasts. There was just an overabundance of alcohol. And pizza. There was a lot of damn pizza. As I stood on that rooftop, leaning over the railing, sipping on a Miller Lite and admiring the city, one of Joel’s friends that I had not previously met came over to me. He is a super nice man. If you are in the city I recommend having a beer with him. He had a beer with me on that railing and I...
It’s Beyond Catharsis

It’s Beyond Catharsis

“When I open them, most of the books have the smell of an earlier time leaking out between the pages – a special odor of the knowledge and emotions that for ages have been calmly resting between the covers. Breathing it in, I glance through a few pages before returning each book to its shelf.” – Haruki Murakami It took me awhile, but I did it. I had been thinking of this story for the better part 14 years. Maybe it was 13 years but, nonetheless, I did it. I finished it. In fairness to myself I didn’t start writing the story until last year. Putting the proverbial pen to paper (I know I type mostly on a laptop, sometimes a desktop. I actually finished on the desktop. Digression) I brought a story that I had wanted to work on for years to life. I breathed life into it by having the namesake stop breathing just a few pages in. Mourning Skye. I was excited to write this story because it is one of my typical stories – twenty-something fuck-ups that fall in love and have to make a hard choice. These stories were part of the independent film resurgence of the 90s and I grew up on them. I ate them up. These characters were relatable. These characters were flawed. These characters were dicks. These characters were nice. These characters were funny. These characters were sad. These characters were – me. When I went to Purdue in 1999 and declared my major as Creative Writing and Film Studies, I was writing these stories already. At least a version of...

My Abandoned Exploration

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E. L. Doctorow A blank page. A cursor flashing – mocking you as you sit in your office and stare at the cool, blue glow. The idea you have mapped out so elegantly in your head struggles to find its way to the delightful dance of your fingertips, as the glide across the keyboard. You know the story. You think you know the story. I have this idea for a story. Let me start this story. The mocking cursor pulsates in your head until finally you begin to type that first sentence. That first paragraph. That first page. That first chapter. Progress. Then, the artist’s reward calls attention to itself and you abandon this idea, almost as soon as you dove into it. This is shit. I have taken this journey many times. I begin this journey with characters on a blank page and begin to dress them, learning about where they came from and whom they have known. In 2007 after a four-year journey with Brenden Hanley, I met Dan Lemon. We’ll meet Brenden Hanley again in the future, but it was time to say goodbye to him. He kept trying to tell his story through a screenplay, and it just was not working. He was nominated for a top drama award, but I was frustrated. I needed to start from nothing again. Dan poked his mustached, fat head through the screen and said, “My name is Dan Lemon. I work in retail sales. I had a comfortable life.” I was used to writing...

The Sun and I have Something in Common

“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” – Franz Schubert Scientists say that every 11 years the magnetic fields of the sun flips. South becomes north, north becomes south. The sun does a flip every 11 years. The sun and I have something in common. It has been 11 years since I vowed to marry my best friend, and I feel like doing a flip. How joyous is that? To know that you have something in common with the sun? To know that 11 years later, I get this feeling, deep underneath my T-shirt, underneath chest stubble, inside my placated heart to jump out of my chair and do a flip. My best friend makes me want to flip out – oh, in the best way possible. Her eyes are the softest brown, caring in their gaze, approving in their wonder. She was kind enough to gift them to our daughter. I see my best friend in our daughter. Wow, do the heart strings play when I look deep into our daughter’s eyes and I see those eyes that I stared into 11 years ago today, tuning out Jon Turner as he read the wedding that I wrote for my friends and family. He face is soft and feminine, holding on to her youth, it’s hard to believe the beauty and symmetry of her face. I’ve woken up in the morning many times, not believing that she was there next to me, beautiful in her state of slumber. This fat, apathetic and tepid mess,...

I Have Great Empathy for Apathetic Characters

MOTHER died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. – THE STRANGER, Albert Camus I read it again. I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure what I had just read. Up until that point I was told and instructed that all narrators had to be trustworthy. We had to care for them at the onset of the story. If you don’t care for them, if you don’t trust them, the readers will revolt and close the covers of the book, never knowing what they wanted and what has changed inside of them. I had been beaten with Dickens and Twain and Shakespeare and Steinbeck and Poe and Miller and Frost and Whitman and White and Hemingway and, so help me God, King. You can trust their protagonists. You can grow with them. You can laugh with them. You can cry with them. You can dream with them. You can die with them. I was a Freshman in high school. I was in Honors English and we were discussing literature. Mr. Hawkinson asked us to bring a book from home and that would be the one that for the next couple of weeks that we would read and then produce a book report. I went home and looked at my parents limited library. It was filled with an incomplete, white bound, printed Google. When I was in high school, we called it an encyclopedia. There were sporadically thrown books thrown amongst the printed Google. There were the aforementioned authors and then a new author I hadn’t heard. Truth be told I selected the book because of the size. It was small....

The Life of the Garden

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie Like so many things in this world, 2014 has come and gone. And just like 2014 has put a belt around its neck, so have many of our “friends” this past year. We lost Plutarch, Mork, Dot Matrix, a better singer than John Lennon, Diane Szalinski, Jim Rockford, Hollywood, Shaggy, Alice, Richard Gilmore, Eddie Valiant, The Professor, and perhaps my personal favorite – Dr. Egon Spengler. All of these “friends” left us in 2014 for various reasons. For all the various reasons that our friends and family have left us for as far as we can remember or as far back as someone took the time to begin recording it in history. Even though I am as old as Ryan Dunn now, and I just cataloged all the “friends” that have left us in 2014, I don’t wish this to be a morbid post. I don’t wish this to be an unhappy post. Rather, it can be an inspiring post. A post to help me write what it is to be in 2015. A lot happened in 2014 and a lot didn’t happen in 2014. I think I want a lot more to happen in 2015. I finished a manuscript in 2014. Perhaps you have heard of it (perhaps you haven’t). When Life Hands you a Lemon. It is the story of Dan Lemon. On the surface, it is a struggle with an obsession with time, after his time obsessed mother passes suddenly when he is...