A NEW DILEMMA FOR A NEW GENRE*

*ALL REFERENCES TO ANY PERSONS CONFIRMED STILL LIVING IS PURELY CO-INCIDENTAL…AND THE DEAD ARE TOO BUSY LAUGHING AT US TO CARE.”

The genre: ‘ENHANCED AND FORTIFIED NON-FICTION’ was birthed when I began writing the eponymous ‘Dancing in Dreamland.’

Usually, the names were changed, or references to specific municipal agencies were obfuscated so as not to reflect negatively upon any number of characters or actors (including myself) because of severely inappropriate behaviors, and in some cases serious felonies, some of which could have resulted in revocation of my paramedic certification in Florida, or worse.

Well, the statute of limitations has run out on most of it, I still use a nom de plume for any other number of other reasons…most especially, because ALL THE STORIES WERE TRUE! 

I have been retired from Emergency Medical Services for a number of  years, although I still work in yet another, completely different field.

I believe that it was Thoreau who wrote: “In dealing with Truth we are Immortal” (I believe it because it is inscribed in stone over the entrance to the Indiana Sate University Library and I read it often any time that I crossed their quadrangle.)

I also read somewhere that where truth is concerned, the more convinced you are that something shouldn’t be published, the more likely it is that it should.

(I’m paraphrasing)

So then there’s that.

But Blue Agave Moon, my current labor of love, is more Sci-Fi, or Fantasy insofar as what I am writing is more of a prophesy of events that I believe are in fact, inevitable, as far as world events and politics are headed.

The details of some aspects may be different, but the results are what make it most interesting to me.

The work was started over five years ago, and recent events have further convinced me that my prophesies are coming true even sooner than I expected, and in fact, my writing was lagging.

When I began this work, aside from the back-stories, I decided to use real characters whom I had personally known, as if I was casting them for a part in a screenplay. There are any number of other reasons for redaction wherever possible, however, innocent or guilty ‘It Rains on the Just, and the Unjust Alike….’

Sadly, two of those characters are no longer alive, with no next of kin to read it, let alone object to it.

For several other reasons, I have tried to find out how to contact the third character for many years, but because my search methods were less than perfect, it was to no avail.

Two months or so ago, almost by accident, I found her, or at least I think that I have found her. I would love to be able to get a release, or whatever…hell, royalties if such an outcome is even a possibility.  

I was not at all surprised to discover that she is, let’s say ‘moderately famous’ within the region of the country in which she lives, but it is a very common name.

Some of the salient details in her bio do not match, or are conspicuous in their absence. Hmmmmm….

I can fully appreciate why she would not want to be associated with me, or any number of my activities, proclivities, and perversions, especially back then.

Of course, my ‘pen name’ is a fictitious, possibly facetious characterization of the author, and many of my alter egos have been characterized in all three works, in one way or another. We say we seek the truth…but do we really?

Kurt Vonnegut once advised: ‘Never hesitate to see how badly you can torture and hurt your main character’ (or words to that effect) which of course is Elliott, one of my ‘alts.’

I had to reach deep inside myself to construct a character made of most of my own worst personality defects, during a certain period of time so as to justify his despair over the realities of various temporary circumstances that are supposed to hurt him, possibly permanently, unless he sees the error of his ways, and chooses true Dharma action.

When I saw her picture, however, it brought a tear to my eyes.

She also has several podcasts available through the local NPR affiliate, and once I heard her voice, I knew it was her…at least I thought that I knew.

She is still beautiful; those features unique to her looks are unmistakably still present, and her personality and character shine though…at least so they would appear to me. 

She was, without doubt, the single greatest love of my life until I met Suki, the mother of my children and my own worst critic….(fact is, she now can barely stand the sound of my voice, if not my breathing).

I have been known for having that effect on women…eventually; some sooner, some later.

I fear it’s more than just the isolation of the pandemic….

I’m not asking for sympathy. I wouldn’t have the right to, since I do seriously believe that I have undoubtedly the best luck and the shittiest judgement of at least a significant portion of the Northwestern region of this Hemisphere. 

I regretted having lost touch wth her for so many years.

Keep in mind, that when we parted and went out separate ways, there was no real animosity; only my stupidity (she would know what I mean) and many years to regret it ever since.

Besides, she and Suki would have gotten along famously, (if only Suki and I still did…).

It was always the third (the triad) that never worked out for us for very long (in either case).

Five years ago, after I started ‘Blue Agave Moon’ I realized that she was the perfect character actress to play the part of one of the principles, so I created a caricature of her personality set in a futuristic plot.

Some of the characterizations were taken in the context of her own self-satirical viewpoint back then. She was usually the smartest and the funniest person in the room.

I took five years to properly do justice to this characterization and keep it true to her character.

And of course, a part of me hoped that she would appreciate the character that she had inspired me to create. She was the sort of person who deserved to be characterized by virtue of her beauty, intellect, fearlessness, and amazing sense of humor.

She had been my muse.

I took her to gun ranges, and she was a dead shot from the start, a real natural.; she loved loud music and was one of my biggest fans. She made it a joy to perform in public. No matter what, she never backed down. We did everything together. She was one of the most generally fearless people that I ever met.

Yes, of course I seriously considered changing the name, most especially since I may have discovered her again, and at least spare any risks of epithets or litigation.

Any sane person would… but Romance-whores like myself are quite a different breed.

But…her last name is also (possibly one of many aliases) that were used by another, very famous character in the novel, for whom I had also known and cared deeply.

And although they were not, and in fact there is no way that they could be in any way related, their characters would have fit together (minus the chronology) perfectly In My Perfect World as…’twin sisters of different mothers and fathers.’

But sadly, Rebecca is no longer alive, (but was very famous), although I could (and did) build a near-perfect conspiracy-theory style case for establishing that it was not her that was autopsied by the coroner, and good reasons why it was good for her that the world believed that it was.

It certainly makes for a good story, as the lines between fiction and non-fiction as well as the living and the dead, become more and more blurred. Both women inspired me, and they deserve credit, if not adulation.

All of those women that I knew and loved so very long ago were beautiful, brilliant, wickedly funny. and extremely talented.

And if by now, it’s not obvious why such a ‘Romancaholic’ like myself would be so captivated by the ‘backstory,’ well, then maybe I’ve just been quarantined for too damn long.

She was “the ex-wife I never married.”

And, to quote Woody Allen from a movie I don’t even remember…”I’d like to bake a cake in her honor.”

(She would remember the reference.)

So Please indulge me in this disclaimer… (In Blue Agave Moon, I have been recently adding:) ALL REFERENCES TO ANY PERSONS CONFIRMED STILL LIVING IS PURELY CO-INCIDENTAL…AND THE DEAD ARE TOO BUSY LAUGHING AT US TO CARE.”

Watch ‘Deconstructing Harry’ and you will understand how a writer suffers for his art, but eventually finds redemption, and in fact utilizes his acquaintances, lovers, adversaries and advocates alike to well…I keep going back to my references to ‘Enhanced and Fortified Non-Fiction.’

It just makes perfect sense to me.

It allows a severely damaged, far-from-perfect malaprop to dream of a place called “My Perfect World.”

So now that (I hope) you can understand that the backstory is about  a writer who, in the midst of a manic-depressive meltdown, five years post experiencing several realizations, illuminations, and visionary revelations during a planetary convergence of remarkable magnitude and infrequency also comes to grips with his unfinished karma and finds himself overcome with nostalgia over what an incredible amount of good fortune it was that he should have ever have had the chance to even breathe the same air as her.

They went their separate ways, but he never really stopped loving her, and wished he could in some way write a testament to not only his regrets, but also his gratitude.

(I wonder if someone can make that kind of grand gesture to real, visceral Romance and not sound creepy, or come off like a dangerous stalker?)

I just don’t know if there’s any better way to express that kind of a feeling. A fruit basket just won’t do it, and still I wonder…is it her?

My poem ‘Apologia’ was written largely as a tribute to an era that we both knew that was nothing short of extraordinary, and she and I had been central to it, along with others who were also written, albeit very thinly disguised, into the novel as well.

The idea of a plot involving a reunion, decades later, at ‘the end of the world as we knew it’ of dashing, swash-buckling alter-egos of ourselves was just too much to pass up.

All I needed to do was to create a ‘slightly’ redacted version of the names of the only two living characters…(the woman from Arizona has been my friend for longer than anyone else I have known, and we still keep in touch.) 

She occasionally reads my posts, and you may have noticed that there is no last name listed for her, and she hasn’t expressed any complaints, at least so far.

‘Chianna’ is an alter-ego of a former dear friend.

So as I post this, I’m holding my breath; will she acknowledge this fawning homage, and if she does, will she object?

Ah! Romance!

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

copyright  ©  March 13th, 2021  

Fish swim with the tides, in and out of the lagoon as it empties itself, receives from, and flows back into the sea.

*ALL REFERENCES TO ANY PERSONS CONFIRMED STILL LIVING IS PURELY CO-INCIDENTAL…AND THE DEAD ARE TOO BUSY LAUGHING AT US TO CARE.

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