Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Painkiller & The American Dream

I'm still in my Old Haunts mode, trust me. Been working on proofreading my 1992 novel, THE HOLY TERROR, as Midnight Library will be publishing a mass market 15th anniversary edition. It will have a forward by me in which I explain the car accident that kept page 243 gathering dust in my word processor for 68 days, and why the novel is set during the winter of 88/89 yet it took me until 91 to finish. Much of it with the help of Yvonne Navarro and Janet Winkler, who typed entire chapters from my dictation on cassette while I was in the hospital for 291 days over two years. Part of my right hip is fused to my left forearm now, for those not in the know. Because my right arm is useless, and the doctors tried EVERYTHING to repair 'ol lefty. I find myself immersed in my own personal history, before and after the incident on 55th Street. Buildings in the novel have been razed, or over-developed. Richard Daley's son was elected mayor, an office he still holds. I read the passages involving The American Dream, and wonder why I never took the advice of Sid and Greg and so many others, never writing more than 5 stories involving the crippled hero. The novel will get a greater audience, as the $29.95 price tag was the kiss of death in 1992 dollars, plus there is a new generation of writers and readers to discover what my world was like when I was turning 30. The middle photo is of me dressed as Evan Shustak, in all his crippled, insane glory. Much of the "outfit" he wears were not throwaway props, some I still use to get through my days as sanely as possible. The photo was taken near the ruins of the Cuneo building by HE Fassl, to accompany a story in Rachel Drummond's SEQUITUR magazine. The top photo is one of my favorites, but it is much changed from the bleak corner where Grandma was killed by Francis Madsen Haid--whom the press dubbed The Painkiller--while she sat in a wheelchair, hunched from the cold, talking to pigeons. I miss 1989, the year that defines the remainder of my life. ...Wayne