The biggest fear I ever had of starting a creative process was what if someone would laugh at my work. This was supplemented by the fear of my doings not becoming a best-seller. All topped by ‘nah’ – not worth it. Let’s not even start. I was defining my creative process as something that needs to bring you money and make you acknowledged, approved, witty and enlightened.
Well frap this. Now the creative process is just means of connecting to myself. Exploring what’s in my head, weighting it and expressing. And writing about what I feel, know and learn from my research. Highly recommended to anyone. Listen to none, nothing, just yourself and get into that soul-meets-creativity zone. All of us have it.
Without further ado, I then give you the first part of the story of Ferdinand Gorilla creative process.
It all started in 1996. A typical boy meets girl, boy likes the girl, boy is afraid to speak to the girl, so they never talk to each other. Ferdinand was such a boy. Good upbringing, good family, no criminal record. He was fifteen.
Living in a post-communist country, which just came out of the cover of the iron curtain. Corruption was everywhere. Including the doctors, who for a hefty, though not too high sum of money, would sign off he was a 1% disabled person. This was for breaking his hand while roller-skating. An equivalent of 200 dollars was a good lump sum for a teenager. Doctor signs, nobody asks questions. People are not used to asking too many questions in a post-communist country. Given the initial investment of 50, this had left him with a good deal of pocket money. To be paid in 2 weeks. Cash. Personal accounts did not exist at that time.
Sun was shining bright when he was leaving the hospital. The surrounding buildings called Polish for the last sixty years, had the confusing German signs and the last world war bullet holes still in them. Probably never properly repaired, some of them even had the stains of the last European conflict fires. Robbed of their identity, yet beautiful. Secession style.
He had decided to take a stroll towards the park. The green tree crowns were visible up forward in close proximity. Right behind a busy street with all the electrical cables hanging around, powering up the city’s tram network. To the left was a new capitalist hotel, the famous meeting place of all of the post-communist mafia. Yeah, these were the people that if you were reach enough, could get you anything. Like drill through your knee of you would not pay up the ‘rent’ or the ransom for your kidnapped kid.
Next was a crossing. This street was called the Adolf Hitler Strasse just over fifty years ago. The boy’s city was on the ‘recovered lands’, that came back to Poland after only 700 years of never being Polish. The street was now called Liberation Alley. Probably better than AFS, although the former was still a proud member of the city’s honorary residents book.
‘Shit.’ thought the boy. There was only one cigarette left in his package. He wasn’t smoking for too long. Neither was he smoking too much. Nevertheless he wasn’t also getting too much pocket money from his parents to spend on fags. ‘Oh well. I’ll just need to ask for more transportation money.’. He said to himself. The cigarette was a Sobieski. Relatively cheap, yet smoke-able, Not like Caro or the heavy-weight Sports. The only disadvantage they had was that their scratched the throat and tasted a bit like hay. But hey, nothing’s perfect. At least the smoke coming out was white, not black like with some of the other brands.
The boy had one big issue in his life. He was very shy with the girls. As any guy his age, he couldn’t take his eyes off the nice looking short dresses or slim-fit trousers that were surrounding him on that beautiful sunny day. In his home city generally. At the school specifically. Also as a boy in his age he had a very extensive fantasies, wet dreams and you know, generally the stuff boy’s his age think of. He just couldn’t talk to girls. On top of his disability, he had this strange ethos of sex only after marriage. Maybe his catholic culture, maybe the things his parents would say. Like his dad. ‘I never had any other woman aside your mum’. And all that crap we learn to be crap and lies when we grow up.
From his point of view though situation was without a solution in foreseeable future. He now passed a lunch-kitchen. Not that Poles had embraced the concept of lunch. Three course meal was still a standard these days, usually eaten at home between 3pm and 6pm. Called dinner. The smell reminded him he was hungry, though he was not in a mood to get home just yet. He was on a mission and he needed to sit on a bench in the park to have some time to think. He waved the smells away and passed the next street running through a red light. Feeling was amazing. He broke some rules. This was hard for him too. He was a good boy, a very polite boy, a boy your mum would be proud of.
Maybe that’s why he had decided to make a pact with the devil.