met our fictional characters in a bar in Indianapolis. On the whole, we
were kind of put off by them. Dirk absolutely couldnt stand the character
named Dirk, the cult leader. I mean, when Dirk
would get into talking, laying down some heavy
barroom preaching, Dirk would just take his hearing aids out.
The one in flowing robes, his beard majestic. The
other in suit jacket, tie died shirt, fanny pack, cut-offs, shaven, even
shorn. Both in sandals, with earrings. The one a golden hoop as wide
around as a bicycle wheel, the other a stud.
Scott and Scott shook hands, and then Scott
continued to shake, as the smack wore off. The one bummed a smoke
from the other.
William left the room when William started to recite some
of his work.
But it was an important moment for us, potentially, in terms of understanding
our own constructs both within and without, the one a projection of the
other. The one a center to the others perifery, the one a silhouette
to the others caricature. The way one might dice up a brain and serve
its various portions separately.
Many rounds later, things had become more complicated. Scott and William
had both fallen for the beatific Dirk,
who could handle many margaritas and still finish sentences.
All the people in the bar were drawn to him like spokes to a hub. Dirk
was talking to Scott and William, both of whom,
although fictional, were in the end serious fiction writers of a caliber
hard not to appreciate for a man who had been working on his Ph.D. in
English Studies for almost a decade. They
talked books, publishing, self-publishing,
writing, written, to write, having had been writing, and electronic literature.
By then, Dirk was counseling William and Scott, both drunk
beyond any brakes, through a two-player pinball game which he had loudly
and resonantly framed for them as a spiritual endeavor upon which their
souls would be measured, and Dirk expected nothing less than
The blipping and beeping rang out acorss the bar while Dirk
those Flippers are yore Wings;
that hole ist Perdition;
that Ball yore Sole.
Flap, my Brothers, Flap.