The Controlled Burn of a Collapsing Man

I woke up this morning with a smile, thinking about the word “collapsing.”

The word holds a negative sum–breaking down, folding in, falling, crumbling all around. But the word, for me, means quite the opposite. Collapsing up. Collapsing Man.

I think about the best hug you ever received.

I think about two open hands cupped together.

I think about strong structural support beams.

It’s a movement towards brighter things. In the New Year. You know how people always seem to make sad, silly resolutions for the new year–things they wish they had the will power to control, but think the magic of a new year will finally bring them success. Losing weight being the most best, greatest resolution.

We all have weaknesses. Areas that need improvement. Shit. I could lose weight. I could quite cigarettes. I could drink less. I could be nicer to strangers. I could be proactive about conflict. I could be a better man all around. But a year long resolution isn’t going to change shit. At least not for me.

What I need to do is be that Collapsing Man.

Take stock of the essentials that keep me awake at night and act on them. Instead of ripping these from the fabric of my days, I keep collapsing in on myself, making me stronger.

I am aware this may not make sense to anyone that’s not me. I am okay with this. And I also understand that this blog is fueled mostly by a pot of strong coffee and ten hours of sleep, but those ten hours drew into focus the word “collapse” and the coffee helped me to see it clearly.

A controlled burn to a forrest. Collapsing Man is the human application.

The new year is looking pretty fucking exciting, if I can get my shit together. If I can keep collapsing. An agent who is waiting on me to finish another draft of my novel. A novel that is waiting on me to revise. Another novel waiting for me to outline and breath life into with the collaboration of my wife. Work for hire. Reviews long overdue.

These are just some of the thoughts of a Collapsing Man.

About J. R. Angelella

J. R. Angelella is the author of the popular debut novel ZOMBIE: A NOVEL (Soho Press) and a contributing author to the murder-mystery anthology WHO DONE IT? (Soho Teen), benefiting the nonprofit organization 826NYC. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Sou’wester, JMWW, The Collagist, Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal and The Nervous Breakdown. His short story “Sauce” won the 2012 Short Story Contest held by The Coachella Review. He received a BA in English Literature from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He taught creative writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City and currently teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland at College Park. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, the writer Kate Angelella.
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