Thursday, June 15, 2006

anecdote

to make my posts more interesting, i've decided to stop posting the random pathetic drivel i've been reduced to lately and be more specific in the writing process.

a couple days ago, my father asked the all-too familiar question of what i was making of my life. i told him i was writing.

"hey, i think that's great," he said, "but writers need to do things in their lives to write about. they write about the things that happen to them."

"so dad, dostoevsky killed people? jules verne had a time machine? bradbury lived in the future?"

"yeah, but hemingway-"

"i don't like hemingway."

i don't know. maybe i'm stubborn, but it was a stupid thing for him to say. if he'd said, you're a bad writer, i would have said, fair dues, i'll get a job.

anyway, i do often write about things that have happened to me. urban, the main character, had a brother who died in a war. the circumstances of this are that his unit was firing on an enemy unit, but it turned out that the enemy unit was a british unit. the mistake was figured out eventually, but not before a british machine-gunner killed urban's brother.

i haven't actually killed anybody or been killed, but i was in a bar once. this was in the most backward part of the united kingdom. i forget the circumstance, but i was standing near this big guy who was looking at me funny, so i decided to make small talk. i don't know what i said, but this is what i got in response:

"you're an american," he accused.

oh, shit.

"we're not all the same," i nervously laughed.

"americans tried to kill me," he snarled.

"oh really?" i'm going to die.

"when i was in iraq, those idiots mistook us for the enemy and opened fire. i'm lucky to be alive."

"well, i'm sorry on behalf of my fellow americans," i said.

by the end of it, we were good drunken pals, and i wasn't killed in retribution.

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