Monday, March 8, 2010

Fornicator Kleptomaniac Consecrated Admissibility

I look again to the clock—almost three hours now. My agent has yet to answer my e-mail, the one with a hopeful young story that aches for her blessing. These are lost hours. I’ve passed the time pacing, casting idle death threats toward the children, gulping jelly beans (of course pretending they're valium), and hurling random expletives at a dishwasher that hates its job.

“We all hate our jobs, you big dumb dishwasher!” What my barrage lacks in finesse it makes up for in bile. “What makes you so special? Is your agent ignoring you?”

The dishwasher continues its high, insistent whine as it tries to drown my tirade. I hate that fucking dishwasher. I hate it more than I hate sharing the earth with Sean Hannity. I hate it enough I may never heal what ails it. I won't shed a tear if the dishwasher, and Hannity, die painful, grinding deaths.

“You’ve got mail.”

A path opens between manic writer and computer. Everyone here knows, when obstructed, I will shove. I click on the inbox. The title of my new message—“More and More Times a Night Fornicator Kleptomaniac Consecrated Admissibility”—sounds nothing like my agent’s voice. I make a note to read this message later.

I sigh, and start back toward the dishwasher.

“You’ve got mail.”

The path re-opens. I click on the inbox again and, this time, my agent’s name appears. I stare at it for a moment, in case it’s a clever ruse.

I know what it says. She'll gush, “You’ve done it! You’ve made me fall even more passionately in love with the English language, Brian. Or should I call you Mr. New York Times Bestseller Guy?”

I open the message.

The first word, “Brian”, feels encouraging. The second—“No!!!”—feels less so. I presume the humorous punch line hides in the next lines, so I read on.

“You’re not getting it. In your stories, you CANNOT make fun of how your wife’s memory is full of holes because of her various traumatic heart procedures.”

She then mocks my memory. Her words sting—and, trust me, this I won’t forget.

“Perhaps you missed the hint when I sent back your story about babies. I said ‘Writing about punching any infant—even a plastic one—won’t play well with any audience that cares about human beings.’” She adds, “Now you’re punching a whole new baby.”

My first impulse is to go all Salinger on her and the rest of our politically correct world. I vow I’ll never again write anything for public consumption. I like to write about what comes to mind, not what makes people feel safe or happy or comfortable. The world has pimples; I want to squeeze all the gorgeous pus of human frailty out of each and every one.

To bastardize the timeless wisdom of Flower (of Bambi fame), “If I can only write things nice to say, I’d rather not write at all.”

So, to show my indignation, but knowing this a battle bigger than me, I bid a forceful goodbye to my latest work—the first strands of a witty thesis about how Tourette’s can sometimes be fu-fu-fucking hilarious. I close the Word document without saving.

Three paragraphs of pure magic disappear forever. I blame Sean Hannity.

Now, if you'll excuse me...I need to settle a score with a certain dishwasher.



  1. "I like to write about what comes to mind, not what makes people feel safe or happy or comfortable."

    I know exactly what you mean.

    Perhaps you need a new agent? One that agrees with your writing philosophy. I mean, what's the point in writing, if it's not your style or what you really believe in?

  2. Hi Candice--

    Thanks for stopping by again. Actually, my agent is wonderful. She's kept me from putting my foot in my mouth (writing career) more than once. In this story, I'm joking about stories in isolation. In reality, she's been great at helping me see the whole picture, the whole books.

    Anyone who reads this: check out Candice's blog. It's a riot!


Related Posts with Thumbnails