We need to talk.
Maybe you should sit down.
You see, the truth is…well…I’ve been deceiving you.
Wait, before you say anything…let me finish.
I’m not what you think I am. You see me every day. We laugh, we cry, we think. You’re totally in love with my beautifully handsome, manly awesomeness. But that really isn’t me. You see…
I’m a dork.
I have been a dork my whole life. Some of my earliest recollections involve Star Wars action figures and Thundercats cartoons. I’ve probably seen every episode of Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch and even Little House on the Prairie.
Sure, some of the cool kids may have done that too. Maybe. But after a while they stopped. I didn’t. I spent a lot of time indoors making forts and strange worlds out of Legos. I was pale for a very long time.
As I got older, it didn’t get any better. Sure, I changed a little. Started playing sports. But I was a daydreamer. I was sneaking comic books between the pages of the Sports Illustrated in my backpack. I’d watch the basketball games with my friends and then race home to catch reruns of Lost in Space or Star Trek. On Saturday’s they’d play Doc Savage: Man of Bronze, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea or Warlords of Atlantis. I’d sit on the couch at home and watch, but really I was a world away.
Don’t get me started on Dungeons & Dragons…
I know I should have stopped. I tried, I really did. I was good for a while, but then I started up again. I was older, things had been going well. I thought maybe I could control it. But I know now I can’t.
That’s when I started to hide it from you. Late at night sometimes, after all the cool shows were over and I’d finished tweeting about them, I’d sneak over to public programming hoping for a fix. Sometimes I’d get lucky. It was easy at first.
But now…now it’s becoming more difficult. Temptation is everywhere.
I’ve thought a lot about it. At first I denied it, telling myself it wasn’t true. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t true. But it is. It is true. I am a dork. I realize that now.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I’m a serious writer! I’m an adult. I have a house and responsibilities. I have grown children of my own. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. I should have seen the signs. They were there. The rolling eyes. The deep sighs. The exasperation and calls of “awww, man…” The shooting glances in the market when Wham! poured from the speakers and I’d do the “Jitterbug”. I didn’t get it at first. And then this week it hit me.
A hero of mine passed away. We didn’t know each other, but he had a story he once told me. About monsters and wild things. It had been a long time, but I remembered. I remembered fondly. He was part of a group of heroes that I’ve had since my dorkness first cracked the cocoon and emerged so wonderfully weird. My favorite authors are children’s authors.
I can’t keep it from you any longer.
I was supposed to have literary heroes named Hemingway, Tolstoy or London. My work was supposed to be cutting edge, avant garde, revolutionary. I was supposed to mingle among the Pulitzers and the Nobels and be lauded by the Times. My work was to be existential…
Instead, my work rhymes.
It rhymes because I like it that way. My work rhymes because it’s funny and it reminds me of being a kid. It reminds me of dancing and laughing and playing. It takes me back to the days when spinning around in circles in the yard was something to do. The days when cool and rad were still part of my every day vernacular. My poems try to recapture the days of R2D2 t-shirts and Saturday morning cartoons. My work takes a look back to the whimsical weirdness of Pippi Longstocking reruns and Tom Hatten drawing amazing things from a “squiggle”.
Sure, you see my amazingly beautiful, handsome awesomeness and it’s tough to wonder where it all went wrong. I’m not as pale anymore. I boogie when you’re not around. You missed the signs too.
But…since I’m being honest. I like being a dork. I’m comfortable. I’m happy. I don’t care that people point and laugh. I don’t care that I missed Black Swan in the theater because I stayed home to watch that Firefly marathon on Syfy Network.
And my work is going to continue to rhyme. For all the other dorks out there. For me. For Shel…
I may even go to a ComicCon. And dress up like Iron Man. My next birthday party? You know, my 40th birthday? I’m thinking maybe a Justice League of America cake…or BATMAN!! I’m seriously considering changing my Facebook status right now. Look for the newsfeed that says “Greg Morton has updated his work to DORK.” And I’m going to be happy doing it.
But you know what? You know what would make me really happy? If you went to ComicCon too. Maybe dressed up. It’d be fun. We could sit outside at the bus stop in our costumes and laugh at all the cool people walking by.
We could get others, too. Maybe a few of the others that are afraid of coming out and announcing to the world they’re dorks. The ones who’ve felt a little shame. Together we could tell them it’s alright. They ARE dorks, but that it’s cool with us. They can rock their dork anytime, because we think being a dork is amazingly beautiful, dorky awesomeness.