My #BeReal guest today is H.K. Abell.
Another male perspective on what it is to be real.
H.K. has been a major supporter of my creative endeavors. He is a very prolific writer and I would encourage you to check out his many books.
Thank you H.K. Abell for being real with me even when you were Helena.
BRUTAL FUCKING HONESTY
I have never been settled. My parents called me the Happy Wanderer, and maybe that was my nature, or perhaps it became something I embraced, consciously or not. Even as a child, I felt like a stranger, an outsider, and I never had many friends. The couple I did have either held me at arm’s length, or maybe it was the other way around, but I can honestly say that in every friendship I’ve ever had, I’ve always felt like the lesser half – that I liked them, enjoyed them, needed them far more than they needed me.
So, I was always running away. Changing schools, social circles. Wearing my strangeness, my disdain and contempt for a world, a culture that I didn’t understand right on my face, I gave off an aura of unapproachability.
I can lie and say that I wasn’t interested in making friends, but that was a defense mechanism, I’m sure. I wanted them to like me for who I was – and even more than 20 years later, I’m still banging my head against that wall. I want people to be interested in me and, to me, more importantly, my writing, for what it is. I don’t want to be what others want me to be, don’t want to write what people want to read – I want them to want to like me, and read what I want to write.
Isn’t that crazy?
I spent years fighting that fight, and then a couple years ago, I made what I thought was an inspired decision, and created an online persona, separating myself from my writing. I thought that it was me that people didn’t like – and so, if I took myself out of the equation, I could at least test the theory with complete strangers. I could discover what people with no prior knowledge of me thought about me.
Unfortunately, I see a pattern in my life, an equation if you will, in which I am the common denominator.
Inevitably, people find me disagreeable, no matter what I call myself. I still have a keen ability to alienate people, either with my insecurity and neediness, or else with my outspoken nature and fierce opinions. I tend to express my loathing for many of the things of pop culture that many find precious, and I understand that people think me elitist, pretentious, and snobbish. I prefer to think of it as uncompromisingly disappointed in the tastes of the great unwashed masses, but, potato/tomato, am I right?
So, what does it mean to be real?
Well, it hasn’t really worked out for me all that well, but being real means admitting your faults and hoping people don’t trounce all over them.
(*Note: I actually went on here. I talked about being real in a cruel place like the Internet, and the cost of being real when people can hurt you while protected by distance, either by saying awful things, or else, hurt you worse by just disappearing, ignoring you altogether. But the truth is, it’s been my experience that people don’t REALLY want you to be real if being real means saying things they don’t want to hear. It’s been my experience that the majority of transactions on the Internet are either bubbly and banal – the exchange of superficial memes, etc.. – or else it is a forum for either public shaming or confession of all sorts of awful things, which people are drawn to like rubberneckers to a car wreck, or like vultures to a carcass. That’s real. Anger is real, but people don’t want you to be angry, they want you to be happy – or else in pain, so they can lick your wounds. But now I’m being too honest again, and I’m sure you’ve tuned out… so…)
Depends on if they know me. If they know – or knew me in the past – I’m sure they think, “God, he got fat.”
If they don’t know me, they probably think I’m a poser, and they’d be right.
What would people be MOST surprised to learn about me?
(*Note: Again, I went off on a tangent about how I don’t really hate myself – not really. In fact, I’m quite enamoured with what I perceive are my talents, but when others aren’t as taken by them, year after year, I start to lose confidence and doubt myself and begin wondering if I have deluded myself and am indeed, utterly uninteresting. Once you start to believe that, and have that belief reinforced by the continued disinterest of people who claim to be your friends, then you begin to hate yourself, the way you perceive that everyone else does. But again… you don’t want to hear that… so here’s a anecdotal piece of trivia.)
When I was creating an avatar for Jessica, I asked my daughter to take some self-portraits. She’s a beautiful young woman, and quite photogenic. She gave me a few variations, and I settled on this one, because it kind of reminded me of the cover of T-Rex’s The Slider. And now you know.
H.K. Abell is a writer, a poet, a sometime musician and artist, and the father of three beautiful girls.
Sometimes, he writes as the enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.
His pseudonym Helena has her own pseudonym, Jessica B. Bell, who not only writes strange, dark and twisted fiction, but is herself the subject of the meta-fictional novel JESSICA, and its upcoming sequel, SINGULARITY, written in collaboration with a host of talented writers.
VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year under the name Jessica B. Bell.
Connect with him via Twitter
@HHBasquiat , and keep up with his ever growing body of work at GOODREADS, or visit his AMAZON PAGE