Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm crazier than the average bear

I had a nightmare last night in which my dad shaved off his beard. Now, that might not sound that scary, but this is a hallmark of childhood terror dreams for me, since the man has had a beard since he was 18 years old. As a matter of fact, in the dream he looked just like his high school graduation photo--mutton chops and all.

Broader strokes of the nightmare: In addition to beardless daddy, I also encountered gunfights, a drunken mother and long deceased family pets. Are you well teased? Ok, you can count my self-gratifying dream recounting as your literature for today.

I was about 15 and living in New York City because I was trying to make money for the family or sell newspapers or something, that part wasn’t clear. However, there were severe gang wars dividing the neighborhood and as I skipped about the neighborhood, my ragamuffin friends and I kept getting shot at, and eventually we had to duck down into a skate park to hide, where I saw my beardless dad in a shootout with the police because he had been selling coke to high school kids. In an emotional moment I cried a lot about it and felt really bad while he got hauled away through the rivers of blood that now filled the streets.

Since I was all sad and all my friends were dead anyway, I decided to head back home; I’m guessing I hitchhiked or rode the rails, because that part was edited out to fit in the time allotted. When I got home, I got distracted for awhile in the back yard, where it took me about a week to walk the last 50 feet or so, and I slept outside in the cold every night. When I finally got in through the back door, mommy dearest was all drunk and wailing about how no one was there to support her anymore, and then daddy dearest swooped in just out of cocaine jail and started yelling at me for making her cry. Luckily, just then my childhood dog, Inky, went running out the front door and turned into my beloved dog of similar size and shape, Flower. When I caught her and brought her across the street to the convenience store that was obviously on a street in New York, she turned into some other kind of dog I’d never seen before and then the fat cat saved me from all the insanity by waking me up with his scratching on the side of the closet and staring at me.

I’m thinking this all means that I’m iron-deficient?

Monday, November 24, 2008

People Just Don't Read No More

They really should. It's been proven to raise your IQ as rated by People on the Bus with You, to support our eyeglass and flashlight economy and to enlarge your penis after just 14 words. Now, you could go on as you have, reading nonsense like this on the Internet, but you should know that Internet words are like anti-matter to literature words. This is also true of the Business and Lifestyle sections of the newspaper and any magazine that contains pictures of shoes and/or chest hair. So, basically every day you're participating in the eradication of literature. You're like the Nothing in The Neverending Story. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

In order to save Fantastica and the Childlike Empress, I've decided to share what I've read in this space in a new semi-regular column I'm going to call "I Wish I Were Nick Hornby and Read for a Living."

So, here's your first installment. I recently finished a book I got from the McSweeney's book club called "Vacation," by Deb Olin Unferth:

It's about a guy with a misshapen head following his wife who is following another guy with a brain tumor and running into another guy who un-trains dolphins, who is being followed by a woman who just found out he's her father after the man she thought was her father, who had a misshapen head, died. But it's really all very simple and beautiful. It has that kind of writing that makes me think that maybe I could write like that someday, because she (the writer) has the same sense of humor as me, but then I realize that she's doing all kinds of fun things with words that I wouldn't ever think of, and so I think maybe she'd just like to be my friend and come over for scones and cream tea cooked by Houseboy, because maybe she doesn't have a Houseboy who makes scones. Or clotted cream.

So, there's your introduction to the world of literature. Go read now, quickly, before all the words in this post disappear from the World of Imagination forever!