Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The Lief out of the Machine
Ah, the nature of the beast.
Why do we writers absolutely burn outselves out, leaving ourselves vulnerable, psychologically unprepared, immune system down--to be absolutely bowled over in any crisis, domestic or work-related.
Thirty years ago, on a bright June day I had completed, in San Miguel Allende, a novel on which I produced 35 pages a day, proof copy. I was glad to place the THE END at the end.
I had been on a regimen of tequila, strong Nescafe, marathon sex to relax, and all kinds of Corona de Baril beer so I could sleep...There wasn't that much sleep, as I had run a cross a nymph at the Jardine, town square. "Are you a Wood Nymph," I asked, half jokingly. "No," she had said. "Just a nymph."
So here is a man going to hell fast, while producing 35 proof pages a day.
No sooner do I complete the book than I get a Dear John from somebody.
Wheeeeee. Whoooooosh. Nininaninaninoona!
"You are crazed," said my mistress.
"I am crazed," I agreed.
Run, don't run. Grab a plane, don't grab a plane. Kick ass. Don't kick ass. One million dollars at stake in bank account and property...And I had to go on this marathon writing thing, leaving myself as weak as light beer.
The wood nymps starts to pour the love on, trying to get me to relax, to pour out the madness, extend it, get me back to myself, whoever that was.
I can not paint, but I was surely Gaugin. Gaugin and his Wahines. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and 35 pages a day. Mexico on 35 pages a day.
The god wants a price and old Scrooge was coming to collect.
I had given my life for art, whoever the f*ck Art was.
So here we are doing it again, creditors at the door, old partner still wanting to argue and we're trying for 35 pages a day.
It is at this point, probably that the landlord will come knocking, the collection agency guy with a lawyer, my anus will fall off and I'll be signing myself into the jigsaw puzzle assembly plant.
And leading to where?
Nature of the beast.
So here we go with Act II, Scene 3, of THE FIRE IN BRADFORD
music in BG; "All My Love's in Vain", by the Rolling Stones. UP, then fade to bg.
Ah, she was on my freqency all right. On my frequency in spades. Or was it the Rolling Stones?
Well i follwed her to the station
With a suitcase in her hand
Ah, the Stones doing the Robert Johnson, that man who knew of the pathos of life, black but not always blue, a genius, and the Stones ripping him off. Ah, but there are times when Mick can write too. On my frequency, yes.
let's have some frequency modulation.
Music in bg. Segue to "You Can't Always Get What You Want', by the Rolling Stones. From guitar ride to:
I saw her at th reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna make her connection
In her glass there was a footloose man
NARRATOR:Yes, somebody had made Celia into his novel. Somebody has made me ino a novel. Brilliant bastard.
And was I to be the bleeding man at the bottom of Celia's glass?
Ah, that first night with Celia, Lief passed out in the next room...
Scene: The professor and Celia are still on the same living room set. They are dancing,somewhat intensely to
Robert Johnson's 'All My Love's in Vain', done by the Rolling Stones. They stop when the music stops, and return to the chesterfield.
She begins to unzip the professors fly.
The professor is beginning to wake up, wake up to this tender trap.
Professor: Hey. Hey. What goes on between you and Lief? What is your relationship anyway? You are a married woman after all.
Celia takes a sip of her white wine. She is beautiful. Nice, high forehead. Flesh-coloured lipstick. Blonde hair abob.
Celia; Lief and I have an open marriage. He has male friends. He has female friends. I have female friends. I have male friends.
"You want another drink?"
Professor: "I think I'd better.
BUSINESS: There is a thumping upstairs that startle both the professor and Celia.
Somebody almost falls through a trap door in the ceiling, a naked arm, a flash of genitals.
Professor: What the hell?
Celia, touching the professor's shoulder: Oh don't be startled, David. Lief is upstairs looking for that insurance policy. We are remortgaging the house. None of us have been able to find that old policy. I told him it was up there in the attic somewhere.
Professor; Three a.m. and looking for an insurance policy? I thought Lief had passed out.
Celia (giggling). Tacky, isn't it? Leif and I will drive you home in the morning. You can stay the night.
..........................End ACT II, Scene 3