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June 23, 2006
During my mid-teens, being a writer
was my goal in life. To the extent
that I had any goals (outside of
the obvious ones).
Being an over-intellectualized
introvert, I was very interested Thankfully, I
in Kerouac's "spontaneous prose" was a little too
ideas, and since I was both smart for the
frustrated with blocked writing alcohol trap.
projects, and had the feeling
that my life was in a rut (at the
age of 16), I conceived of an
experiment: I would attempt to
write a mystery novel that took
place in the framework of my The working title
life; I would work fictional for this "mystery
events into what had happened to novel" project And I haven't
me that day, and use the need for became "The Mist". lost any of
story material to drive me in my keen sense
different directions in my actual of clever
A day dream written
down in installments.
A very common set-up in Japanese
A device to break anime: superheroes who (for no
a set pattern of apparent reason) refuse to abandon
behavior. their secret identities as high
experiment ran into
some problems, of But was it really
course. that silly a "If I want to go
scheme? Maybe around asking
I was a kid who was I needed to take questions at
carefully keeping my it more seriously. random, I'll need
head down in the a cover. Maybe I
long island suburban should start an
hell... there were 'underground'
reasons for this. It would be very school newspaper."
easy to dismiss
The rut that I this isolation as
was living in was excessive shyness--
only partially of certainly that's But the reasons I
my own creation, how I regarded it was keeping my
much of it was at the time. head down were
the usual school perhaps not such
regimentation. bad reasons.
What are the odds There's a Fitzgerald line:
that I would "The true artist lives
suddenly find ways his life like a spy in
to deviate from enemy territory."
this for *secret*
reasons? And he wrote that
line before they
And those reasons would be invented suburbia!
lengthy explaination, and And at least The
dismissed as irrational or Artist has a name
insane once explained. for what they are.
It was the beginning of
"social studies" class.
There had been a fight I caught a glimpse
in the hall that people of this fight on my
were still talking about. way in the door:
some pudgy, nerdy
Things had calmed down, guys who weren't at
and the bell had just all known as "bad
rung, but the teacher kids" were going at
was still standing in it, rolling around
the doorway. He on the floor.
mentioned that there was
actually blood on the Red-faced.
I stood up out of my seat,
walked across the room and
shouldered past him to look
down the hall. He looked
In High momentarily stunned-- I There was indeed,
School, was technically breaking a tiny little
standing the rules, and I wasn't puddle of blood,
up and someone he'd expect to do thick-looking,
walking this. bright red against
around the drab greenish
can be Then, as I returned to my speckled tiles.
a radical seat, he commented, with
act. his usual cynical sarcasm, The buckets of
"Yes, the sight of blood blood disappeared
How is it usually does bring out the from my murder
possible crowds." scene. That
to create understated puddle
a free, I smiled weakly and sat down, was so much better.
engaged while the other kids were no
citizenry doubt wondering about my (But despite scenes
with this behavior-- I described briefly of violence like
sort of what I'd seen to the guy next this, I still had
system? to me. trouble coming up
with a motive for a
(And retroactively high school murder
converted any curiosity strong enough that
about me into curiosity I could believe in
about the blood.) it.)
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