Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Writer's Method

“You know, if I didn’t know you was my wife’s sister, I would get ideas about you…” So says Mr. Brando to Ms. Leigh on my old black and white television set. And it suddenly occurs to me… I have not been going deep enough. I have only scratched the surface. It is time to plumb the depths. When your subject is the landscape of the soul there is no other choice. The thespians (most of whom I despise) call it The Method. Yet what of us scribes? Can we not live our work? Are we resigned to sitting at our laptops in cum-stained underwear as our characters come to life before our eyes? I say not. I say that is no longer enough. I resolve that I, a Writer, will pursue my own Method.

I write of a race of beasts that live among us yet which most are blind to. So I will become one such beast. If only for an evening…

It’s 3:37 in the morning. I slip off my clothes. I’ve only been wearing underwear all day, so it doesn’t take long. Oh, to stand naked! I have a moment of doubt. Much like that terrifying hesitation when I first sit down to compose. But I fight it. Because I am a Writer. It’s what I do.

I slip out the door of my apartment. The cool night air welcomes me. I feel a forbidden thrill as I run naked through my building. Oh, if my neighbors could see me now! Then they would understand. They would know my nature. They would know my girth.

I leave the apartment building behind. I am on the street naked! Oh, the liberation! So this is what the Yeti feels when he is out in the woods, his Dr. Manhattan free to sway in the night breeze. I am closer to him already. I am flooded with a feeling of communion. Yes. I am willing to go the distance to complete my masterpiece...

I run down the street, keeping to the shadows, hunched over the way I imagine the Yeti would be. My nostrils flare. I read the scents on the wind. I smell life. I smell danger. I smell myself (I must admit we scribes often go days without bathing – we hunch over our writing implements, stewing in our own juices – and it’s all for you, Dear Reader, all for you).

A police car suddenly appears before me and I leap down beneath the shelter of a parked SUV. I huddle there, throbbing with excitement, wondering if the lawman will pass on by. Or if he and I are meant to do battle on this night. The car continues onward and I find I am disappointed. I was ready for battle.

I sprint across the road, briefly bathed by headlights, then I am in the shadows of Mr. Griffith’s Park. I delight in the feel of dirt beneath my bare feet – so much better than the cold hard concrete. So much more real. I crouch behind a bush and then I see her…

A coyote. Noble. Gorgeous. And in heat (I just knew this, don’t ask me how, I was at the mercy of The Method). I stare at her. She stares at me. And I can tell. She understands. She is not gazing upon an out-of-shape, out-of-work slob… No, no,no. She gazes upon a fellow beast of the night. She gazes upon a Yeti. She licks her chops…

What happened then, my friends, I cannot write about. True, I have given everything to my profession. I would die for my writings. For my dear words. I pride myself on putting everything out there on the page for all to see. But this time, I am keeping this one sacred experience to myself. I have said too much already. There are pages to be written.

I am no longer a man writing about beasts. I am a beast chronicling the experiences of my brethren.

I love you all.


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