My dear sweet friend and mentor Had lunch with me yesterday Over soup he discussed my play You put so much in your first draft He said There's a lot there.
Oh good, I said, so I shouldn't give up this writing thing. I was being slightly coy, a bit mysterious I was looking for a reaction, but I was also a little serious.
No Jen, you won't stop, even if you wanted to. Damn, he knows me too well. You can't stop---even if you're working twenty hour a day jobs, you'd still do it. Shit. I'm screwed.
Why couldn't my work have been something better? I didn't even like high school english class. I was good in math. Accountant---numbers all day, but knowing me, I would've gone into math theory and found a new formula or equation. When I was four, I wanted to be a doctor. When I was twelve, I wanted to be a pilot. When I was fifteen wanted to be an actress, but froze up during an Our Town audition. Be a teacher? Never liked school. A fireman? Hate smoke. A cop? Hate guns. A plumber? My faucets always leak. A librarian? Been there, done it. A secretary? Hate offices. A journalist? Uhm. No. A waitress? No experience. A bartender? Possible, but how do ya make a fuckin Cosmo?
So I'm stuck Doing what I do Putting words down Word after word Not stopping Cause I can't.
I don't have a strong vocabulary Big words send me to the dictionary Then I forget them the next day I'm not too good at spelling either And sometimes I ignore grammar.
What comes out doesn't smell so good And it's full of things I've eaten. It's recognizable but distorted Fascinating but repellent And I keep hurling it at the world Because I feel better once it's out of me. Fill up sheets and sheets with it Then sleep in it Then wake up wet and sticky Smelling sickly Shower Shower Shower Wash the sheets and use them again Turn them over More More More More words and more words Printed neatly---Sister Aloysius gave me good hand writing---never smacked my hand with the ruler---I was quiet---I was thinking And more and more and more A bad taste in my mouth What if a snake did crawl up through the toilet and bit me on the ass?
I can't make all the shit go away. I not a magician or a commercial Hollywood technician. Words of comfort and inspiration ain't really my speed either. I'm not a preacher or a warrior leader. I laugh at politicians. I'm the kid who laughs at what others find repulsive. I smile and stare at the puke on the floor. My friend Mike called me a freakazoid---shucks, I'm just plain weird.
I recently went to a panel of experimenters A band of avant garde brothers The only one who said anything of worth Was the one who said he felt alienated from the others He had made his own language But with years, he had the wisdom to explain that he didn't know He just does it over and over again Every year, a new play, every year. And the audience stares in horror---you can see them---the house lights stay up And I laugh at its sweetness And someone usually farts too.