Biographies fascinate me. There is nothing more interesting than a life well lived. But the issue of how that life was actually lived is bent by the prism of the author, overstating or understating, or just getting it wrong about the diligence or chaos of that life.
I recently read the biography of film director Hal Ashby and was struck by the contradictory notes on his life, at one time proclaiming him extraordinarily dedicated – working 18 hours days weeks at a time – and then completely bemused and lost.
It’s a work of fiction in the end because nobody knows, not even the one who lived that life, as well lived as might be portrayed. The one thing that I have learned from these biographies is that confidence and humility is all that is needed.
You can genuflect and proclaim, be as poetic as you like, but there is nothing but those things. Confidence and humility, and all will be well, or at least well biographed.
I am working on a script about penises becoming detachable. It’s an evolutionary thing which initially engenders terror but, when men learn that reconnection is simple, becomes a thing. Different models sprout, versions featuring thick members at the center and colorful off shoots that look like bundles of wobbly flowers.
This version becomes in demand, although it isn’t a question of manufacturing or purchasing them, just the body producing them. Those who display these become idolized and have their flowery genitalia featured on social media.
And then one of the vaunted influencers decides that he is actually a dog and then that becomes a thing.
The recent obsession with a multiverse existence is not surprising, given the surge of the sad and lonely scrolling to the next seven-second moment.
I think about a moment when I was 25 where I had to make the call between working as a caption editor or assistant book store manager. I chose to edit captions and did that for several years before stumbling into education. Why? I don’t know. I could have made a publishing contact at the book shop and been a dozen or so books into my career. Or I could have been fired for yelling at customers for reading the Penthouse magazines. Or I could have murdered someone for losing the only draft of my first and great work. Who knows.
Where would we be if Trump had died of food poisoning as a boy? If Hitler had been aborted? If Paris had just kept his hands off Helen? Or if, as Gunter Grass posited in The Flounder, women had never told boys the secret of procreation and therefore held onto their super power. Yes, sadly, this verse is it, kids.
The difference between the morning and evening edit is day and night. I am methodical in the morning, sorting through scenes like cupboards and drawers, matching the colors, straightening everything out.
My brain is loose in the evening, searching for the magic and music more than anything else, adrift, catching at the flotsam.
It’s a balancing game, getting those two to work together, always interesting to see which gets the last word.