Thursday, September 27, 2007
The Greater Good: Storytellers Unplugged 09.28.07
I should be thankful I am in the Central time zone, this way I have an extra hour to poke away at this keyboard. This may change in the very near future. My one-fingered click clack, I mean. I'll stay in the Central time zone, probably die here. Not in the suburbs, somewhere back in the city. I leave that up to karma. I'm looking down at my fingernails, like a guy testifying at the mob trial currently transpiring here, or some trying-to-be-serious comedian on a late night HBO special. I'm putting off what I want to say, to confess. Proactive contrition, if you will. Its a world of iPods and nanopods and other things I do not even know how to spell correctly. Some phone that moves like a three card monte dealer shuffling the deck. People who don't have writing programs on their computers but they can text the basics for TREASURE ISLAND or CANDIDE to a friend, while the quiz is being handed out. Virtual Cliff notes. In a few weeks, the 25th anniversary showing of BLADERUNNER will be in our theaters. Some nights, when the pain is bad and I try to keep the voices at bay because when PK Dick's goddamn voices started jibber-jabbering, he wrote about the damn things. I'm stuck with them just floating in my thalamus, as my one good finger tries and puts their rants down about as fast as Abe Vigoda's character Phil Fish taking a witness statement on BARNEY MILLER. Nights with the pain, after ten or twelve hours at the plant, I'd fall on my knees in worship if I saw the floating cube with the Oriental woman selling little green pills (if I recall the color correctly, and it was probably a damn stool softener, not some pain killer, oh the jolly jape of madness!)from BLADERUNNER. I want to finish this. I feel as if I am tapping from the inside of my ribcage.
When I take my eventual dirt nap in the time zone I alluded to, hopefully the corpse found in a timely manner so as to be stuffed and mounted and auctioned off every year so that I can be owned and taken to conventions and banquets by Beth or Brian or David or Sully, depending on who ponies up the most money for the charity of their choice, I want to be remembered as the guy who did it the only way he could. Rather...I wanted to be remembered that way. I've always been content with my body of work, even if it meant ignoring the voices of envy, of all those who type faster, those who get everything purged while my output is that of a 48 year old man with an enlarged prostate. I wanted the vanity, if that is the word, to be dead without ever enhancing my manner of typing. I have indeed dictated to writer Yvonne Navarro and teacher Janet Winkler while I was recovering from the car accident in 1989. I often get offers from people to type something for me, and right now, Kate Sterling is retyping a long essay I wrote for the defunct ED McBAIN COMPANION, just so I can get it on disk and try and whore it elsewhere.
Proactive contrition, my friends. I absolve myself from what I will do this coming week. I am surrendering a huge part of me, a truly enormous portion of my mind and soul, and purchasing Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0. I so so so do not want to do this, to become a robot, to become a voice that will speak faster than my stream of consciousness and likely fuck up my stories better than the meds I take for being bipolar. But I have to do this, I have nonfiction assignments from Salem Press, a poetry collection from Annihilation Press, and if it kills me, I will write CITY WITH NO SECOND CHANCES, scenes of which float in my head like slices of deja vu when I am awake or asleep. I have an agent, a good one, and I know he will be on my @$$ like a good agent should. I haven't had an agent in a decade and I'll do this fellow right, and I'll do all of you, my readers, right, as well. But I feel that I am doing myself a great wrong.
I have discussed this with many people, most feel it is about the body of work I still have in my various brain cells, locked up by a palsied caretaker. There are those who wouldn't give my dilemma a second thoughts, those with the texting and the iPod shuffle. But this is a very hard thing for me. Turning over myself to a computer program.
For the greater good. Should there be a question mark there? As of October 15th, I will have been with America Online for ten years. Its a way of life for me now. Will Naturally Speaking be that way, as well. Or am I simply afraid that I will fail, that I do not have those stories in my head after all. Proactive contrition: Philip K. Dick, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest my sins, blah blah blah. I'm confessing my sins before I commit them. Next month you won't be reading my type written word, you'll be reading whatever the hell my voice tells the computer program.
And I hate myself for surrendering, all for the so-called Greater Good.
Happy October, my favorite month of the year. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll let a little bit of myself die before you hear from me again. Thanks for your time and patience. Your chattel, Wayne