paulette's hypermeaningful weblog


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Here I am, Telling a story


Dear undercritical, overly forgiving fan of my work,

Here’s something I dug up and reworked from a journal entry of mine about 6 or 7 years back. It’s called make-believe, and it’s sweeping the nation. Pretty soon, people who write, writers, will make up stories and say that they were divinely inspired, that their words came from a higher power, and that if you don’t live by these stories, you will be alienated, persecuted or worse. So pack your emotional baggage, buckle up and get ready for the greatest thing to hit literature since spelling, MAKE-BELIEVE.

I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to become an impoverished writer in Oakland, writing about music, theater, movies, anything, songs, live shows, cd’s and what the fuck. And since I really committed myself to doing this writing thing, writing about these things, music, anything, plays, and more, I got in touch with an editor, Jim Writerguy, of The Oakland Crier, one of the most prestigious papers on its block and told him I was interested in writing about crap happening in town.

I wanted to write about crap.

I had thought about becoming an impoverished writer in New York, but I didn’t think it was as glamourous, as interesting as writing in Oakland where all the people from Oakland lived. I wanted to be around Oakland’s people, to immerse myself in all things Oakland, to live, breathe, dream, eat, sleep, walk, talk, cry, laugh, hope, poop, pee, sweat, sneeze, barf, be Oakland.

And so I got a telegram one morning from Jim, and it read thusly:


I only have so many characters to say this, so I’ll keep it shor

I figured there was more to the message, so I came in to talk with and look at him while he talked. He looked like this guy who was the publisher at a publishing company I used to work for. He had a face like most people, and he was white, from some kind of European, half-bred, eighth-bred lineage. It really doesn’t matter since all white people kind of look the same. At least in this case it really didn’t matter. Let’s just say he was a non-descript, bland, white-bread, white guy from suburbia who didn’t look obtuse.

I walked into his cubicle and he was there.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi, go write about this band, The Robots, and I’ll give you some money”

“Ok.” I said.


“What happened to your usual writer person?” I asked

Jim looked off into space and told me the following story which I’ll paraphrase for you.

The guy who normally covered those things died of a gunshot wound to the finger. It, the bullet, hit the middle finger of his left hand, nicking the very, very tip of it, knocking off the outer layer of skin. It didn’t bleed, but it opened the proverbial door for a viral infection from his cat, and in a matter of hours, he was dead. He had been trying to open a can of cat food for his cat, but he couldn’t find his can opener because his girlfriend had taken it with her to work. So he was trying to make do with a medium caliber handgun he had found by a crime scene on the way to work one day.

She, his girlfriend, had taken a liking to eating cat food and took a fresh, unopened can with her every day. The lids weren’t the easy opening variety with the built-in finger handle, so she really, really needed the can opener. Her favorite cat food flavor was turducken, a mixture of turkey, duck and chicken, and I have to say here that I’ve tried this cat food flavor, and in a pinch, in the lean times of economic downturn, it really hits the spot.

I left his office in disbelief, feeling that the story was so far-fetched that I was being lied to. I felt like I couldn’t really trust Jim if he was going to blow so much smoke up my ass that it started to come out of the corners of my eyes.

But I was bombarded by mass media once I got out of the newspaper’s offices, and all of the mass media confirmed Jim’s story, proving that it was completely and utterly true. For example, the headlines of The San Francisco Bugle read, “Entertainment Writer Dies Bizarrely.” That’s how they, those headlines, the ones of the San Francisco Bugle read.

I left the Crier’s offices at 10:47 a.m. and had the rest of the day to check my facebook account at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library. I had been trying for a whole week to think of something really clever to post because my self esteem was flagging, I really didn’t think too much of myself at the time, and it made me feel so liked, loveable, beautiful, fancy, and excellent when people liked what I wrote on my profile posts.

There was no line for the computers because people had mostly lost interest in them, so I got online real quick like. I didn’t have any facebook notices, the red things in the upper left corner of the screen, so I typed out “Even if you’re soul is as black as coal, I still love you,” and hit enter. And then, the power went out at the library, so I had to get a paper book. I went to the how to section for writers and got the book, “How to Write About Musical Performances” by Noel Belvin, who just so happened to be a writer for the San Francisco Bugle.

I found a comfy spot to read in, sat down and fell asleep. It was a relaxing, refreshing nap, so I woke up ready to read the book, turning to the first chapter, “Attending the Concert.” It read thusly:

“If you want to write about a concert, it really helps to attend it, the concert. I know because I’ve written about concerts I have and haven’t been to, and I find it much easier to write about concerts I have been to than concerts I haven’t been to. One time, I had to leave a concert early, before it started, so I had to listen to my friend’s bootleg of it, and this was before small video cameras, so I had to ask my friend what to say about the band’s stage presence and how the audience responded to them. This absentee writing was harder than attendee writing.”

I pondered these words, letting them percolate through my consciousness, through my being, letting them walk through my brain, through the thought tubes. I just sat there while all of this was going on, and around me there were other people reading books about child rearing and home improvement.

Finally, the ideas from the book blew up in my brain, and I said, “Wow” over and over and began to shake violently in a pacifistic way. It was exciting.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home