Me and Mort


As far as weird obsessions go, I have more than my fair share. Little things I can’t even name here because they are so ingrained into me that I cannot separate them out of my normal day to day routine.

Other’s however, come out at me screaming. To the point where some far away sane piece of me is forced to ask, why?

Mort Rainey is one of those others. And this begins the next installment of my Influence and Inspiration.

To be absolutely fair to start, at the time Secret Window came out Johnny Depp was at his prime. There wasn’t a girl in school who didn’t crush on some character of his at some point. While most fawned over Jack Sparrow (Captain, excuse me), for some reason Mort Rainey tickled my teenage fancy.

For those of you familiar with the movie or the book, feel free to recommend a favorite mental institution since there is no sane reason I would crush on this particular character short of latent homicidal tendencies right?

To which I would argue that I feel no more homicidal than the next guy on the street. In that, I feel most people could do with a good smack on the face, but no more violent than that. And really the part I connect most with in Mort happens far before he gives into his killing spree.

When we meet him, Mort’s life has gone to shit. Mine had too, in a different way but still shitty all the same. He was once a great author, now stuck in literary limbo as he sits at his desk playing more with his slinky than writing. I too was once a great proliferator of words, but just like Mort, there came a point where I couldn’t even get a full paragraph done before deleting it.

Then shit starts to happen that derails his life still further, and everything starts to spin out of control. The more he fights it the faster it goes until he is literally screaming to the thin air. SAME THING WITH ME!

But things really start up once Mort begins to give in, and then has the grand revelation at the end. Which I will not spoil for those who haven’t seen or read it yet. He just rides out the crazy until the very end and ends up writing his story in a total fury (as well as other less savory things).

And then he’s back. In control of his life and loving every minute of it. The cost is unthinkable of course. But it all comes together and creates this amazing new creature that oozes charm and evil.

All of which, minus the outright murder and chaos, I have done and has led me to where I am at today. 30,000 words of a novel finished, confidence and comfort in myself, and I will admit a new certain surety to my walk.

Mort is essentially the homicidal version of me, down to the quiet cabin in the woods which I intend to have once I am published and famous. That is why I love him so much, and even though I hate horror as a genre this is still one of my favorite movies.

I have followed his same path, from sitting at the desk with my own slinky to finally writing my damn novel, and as a result have become an entirely new being. Similar to who I was as a child and who I wanted to be, but something I could never have expected. And that is a beautiful thing.


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