This Empathetic Song

This Empathetic Song

“Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human.” – Janet Fitch There’s a little girl who lives with me. She’s amazing in every single way that I could think of and she finds a way to make me smile every single day. I don’t know how she does it, but my head could be doing whatever my 37-year-old head is doing at any particular time and, no matter what rabbit hole I’ve entered, she can usually bring me out of it. So, when this little girl who lives with me is starting to raise questions of self-worth, a piece of me dies, a piece of me cries, a piece of me smiles, and a piece of me is warmed. The heart-strings in this empathetic song are resonant. My little roommate is going through the first change from a little girl, into a little person. Her needs are no longer animalistic and basic. Her needs are much deeper. She is beginning to wonder who she is. Not even ten years into this existence she is starting to feel the pressure with existentialism. That is something that she doesn’t know about at this time, but it brings her closer to her father than she could ever know. She is sharing in something that is so fundamentally human, and it is exciting to be a part of. She hasn’t opened the door to true existentialism, but she is knocking. She’s asking these first questions in her head. She is broaching the subject of self-worth. The gateway drug to philosophical pontifications. Like her mother before her, and her mother before hers,...

I Don’t Have Room in my Heart

“No guns but only brotherhood can resolve the problems.” – Atal Bihari Vajpayee So, in the past few days, I have been experiencing something that I am not used to. It started Friday for the most part. Thursday night, maybe. But definitely Friday. It was the start to a weekend where I had to work all Friday night. I’m used to being with my family every Friday. It was not a great big deal, because I have one of the best jobs around. I don’t feel that I am working when I’m at my job. In a weird sense, I feel that I am hanging out with anyone I come into contact with at work. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a feeling. But, I also had another feeling. A feeling. A sense of impeding longing for my family. You see, in addition to being gone all Friday night, I was also going to be away all Sunday. For a good reason, though. The Chicago Cubs played the final game of the season on Sunday at, perhaps, my favorite place on the planet – Wrigley Field. It was a glorious day too. At times it was hot. At times it was cool. Beautiful. I took my son to the game, together with my parents, sister and nephew. I took Miles to see the World Series trophy – something I had waited 36 years to see and something he doesn’t understand at the age of seven. A weird butterfly-y happiness ejaculated into my stomach. There’s a picture of it on my Instagram. I follow the Kanye rules to photography almost exclusively. This...
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,...