- updike would rise early each a.m., head to his upstairs, & dutifully write for 3 hrs. kerouac supposedly wrote on the rd
by feeding a 120-ft roll of paper into his typewriter & letting fly. somewhere between's people like me (neither disciplined nor dope-driven, most of us toil in obscurity, which is just fine w/me). as a kid, i loved nothing but the piano more than my portable olivetti, & i'd clack away daily at it: imitation chandler & hammett, detective stories, marx bros script, feverish tales of my cousin, sister & i meeting the beegees (i was a KID after all!). never finished a one, & my niece is now the same, tho she writes her feverish tales by hand & they revolve around androgynous j-rockers.
- as much as music, people, exercise, & finding shiny objects on the ground, i just love to write, & besides a behemoth of a masters thesis & yrs in jr reportage, i do it for self-expression -- tho i spose there's always a bit of social agenda there, since i AM a teacher from a family of teachers &, tho yes a little smudged by a kinda sordid but mostly garden-variety-drunk past, basically am a goody two-shoes... i like to be good, & i like people who read what i write to feel good, & i keep that in mind while writing. yes, nihilism, marker of my youth, is gone, & therefore, i guess, so are my tender yrs, & good riddance, i say!
- haven't written for many days, so it's time, is the idea. things’ve been up & down: lots of headaches/sore throats probably due to our poisonous air; much time w/family & friends; enjoying crisp-autumnal clime; did 1/2 marathon the other day & am still somewhat crippled by the bout (time was 2:19, not bad for a non-athlete like me)...
- see, i've always been in this place & tho for a while chronicled my mostly-drunken escapades in a comic (look to link @ right for true tales of glumglum), @ times i glaringly know i just don’t have much that’s exciting to write of.. however, i DO know people who’ve had fascinating lives, & i trumpet here & hope they read & are inspired to finally get some of their stories down!
- here, for instance, is my dear friend donna's nativity scene: step-dad is coming home off the rd; he's stand-in for hank snow when hank's too drunk to get on stage & sing. he walks in & donna's dear mom's laying across the kitchen table w/the other kids standing worriedly around, mom’s yelling, "i'm having the baby!!!", step-dad runs across the rm, slashes down the venetian blind cord & uses it to tie off & cut baby donna's umbilical cord.
- what a frigging entrance!! donna's hilarious & weird story "the worm" is at that link at right, & she has tons & tons more. what an amazing life, & she’s gotta lot more to live!
- another friend's lived in new orleans, israel, the whole east coast, london, west LA, & more, i'm sure. he just sort of opens his mouth & amazing nuggets fall out, such as "in israel, all the foreign beatniks'd go hang out on this one corner & wait for work & you'd do a different job every day, like work in a bakery or as a courier or at the olive market, & then at the end of the day me & the englishmen’d drink at the bar & you know, i'm so lucky i got to speak french w/the arabs there bc they just love the french language so much!" or "when i had malaria & dropped down to 85 lbs [guy’s over 6 ft tall] & was waiting to be shipped back to the US, the only book in the hospital was the old testament, which i ended up reading 3 times cover to cover cause i was so bored," or “i remember when i played a reporter in forrest gump…” or "the 3rd time i got my nose broke"... get this guy a biographer!!
- and aunty rita? she lived all over the u.s. as well as in el salvador when uncle henry worked shutdown on nuke plants & she just bursts w/stories: armed guards escorting her to the mall in salvador; carjacked at gunpt in miami beach & then the thief got on the fwy & got stuck in a traffic jam & the cops got him; dancing w/merle haggard & all the honky-tonk hunks when she was the knockout-life of the party in the 50s-60s; living on buttermilk & cigarettes a smitten cowboy’d bring her every single morning to nurse her hangovers when she worked at the bank; coming to in the bushes & knocking on the window, but her sister wouldn't let her in the house… (well, ok, i DID live that particular story…) my long-time friend, big gruff dm, tells of partying at his friend chief’s pad while dm was a hollywood high student, putting down the bong to espy a stretch limo outside, & next thing he knows, in walks elvis! yes, none of these stories’ve been written down… til now… so you read it here 1st! :)
- i should be more like dad, local historian, who gets wind of others’ fascinating lives & patiently but doggedly pursues til they spill. dad, the quiet but politely subversive gentleman w/matinee looks who has always lived w/in 6 miles of his birth, is someone who thrills @ others’ narratives (b rode sidecar as a motorcycle ice racer in colorado; uncle henry went out on the nuclear sub, where they couldn’t shower for the 1st month cause the stalls were filled w/smokes & booze; steve strelich stood in for movie stars, did marathon swims & dances, & met a dictator before starting up a wrestling arena that still stands here in bakersfield). yes, dad really listens & truly loves interviewing & getting down on paper the adventures of others. he honors others, in so doing! please click here to read some of dad’s work: www.gilbertgia.com
- well, aside from getting marmalade at the bent ‘n’ dent for my students (who’ve never heard of or tasted it) & some terrific books @ the goodwill, "my" tale for tonight’s been told, so if you’ve got a story that needs telling, post it, post it, cause why the heck not??! life’s too short to sit back & wait for someone else to sing your story, & even if you’ve not traveled far, as friends mentioned here have, i believe that a tale well-told can take place right in your kitchen, bathroom, backyard, or noggin...
Labels: aunt rita, blablablablablablabla, discipline, family, friends, joy of writing, loved ones, narrative, steve strelich, stories, uncle henry