Bounty hunter #1: You’re wanted, Wales.
Josey Wales: Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter?
Bounty hunter #1: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.
Josey Wales: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.
– The Outlaw Josey Wales
TUESDAY: I had to come up with a plan. It had to be fate that Malcolm “Blink”ing Gladwell rolled up next to me at the Catalina having what appeared to be a cappuccino while looking nervously at his computer screen. I could leave him alone, or I could see what he was all about. This is Texas, and we are nosy, chatty, and very want to tell people about ourselves; therefore, if I just start a chat it will either become a legitimate chat, or possibly one of the suicide scenes from Airplane. I took a shot of Rwanda to instill some bravery and —–I quickly decided that if it was fate I would indeed see him here again and we might even have a meaningful chat.
I then quickly imagined an entire scenario where I would ask him to dinner and he would refuse, and I would insist, and he would agree. I imagined that if he came I would cook a risotto and offer him something from the cellar, but not the Piemonte wine I had promised, and he would have a girlfriend and typical nerdy insecurities. I imagined he would be polite but not overly excited and I think I would have been right. At the same time, I imagined he would actually enjoy me way more than the story I would write, but since he would not come to dinner (although I did send him an email and request the honor of his presence) I thought letting my imagination flow and engage my roots in play-writing would be fun for this story.
Much of the initial meeting with MG was fact including the rude interruption, and the exchange with the barista. However, as it was, Gladwell grabbed his things and made a point to tell me it was nice to have met me as he rolled out of Catalina on last Tuesday. The fiction ensued from there including Leora, the Krug, and the Krav Maga. I did cook the exact meal I described in the stories for my wife and I, but Malcolm, as he has yet to respond, missed out on the risotto.
I have recently become friends with a super cool writer from New York that is in the middle of a play development process where I am hopeful to direct again for the first time in quite a few years. I have never lost my passion for the stage or the written word and while all of this seems new to those who have known me for only a short time, this path and the pitfalls are not new to me. According to Gladwell, in What the Dog Saw there are some artists whose talent is immediately recognized and who from a young age are displaying their crafts for a world audience (Picasso) and there are others (Cezanne) for whom success came at a much later age (46+), yet the common drive to create and to live a life from their own guiding spirits was unwavering.
I have no idea whether I will be monetarily or even socially successful in my endeavors as a writer and storyteller, but as long as I have fingers, stories, and the feeling that I am inhabited by the characters I have met on this planet, I will create. Some stories will be inane and some hopefully insightful, but just as I told my theater professors in college, I am cut from the cloth of PT Barnum rather than Aeschylus; and I just want to keep audience attention, even if it takes train wrecks, the scatological, or occasionally the sublime.
Stay with me if you want to see what is next or roll back to your comfy pillow and count your money 🙂
Michel’ Sì probrê du iun!