Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On social awkwardness

Writers don't like to talk because of what they might say. Writers don't have peripheral vision. Writers see one word at a time, a little planet, sometimes orbited by punctuation. Writers have a flashlight in the cave, no map. Writers want a rewind/erase button. Writers want a lawyer present at all times -- a lawyer and an absolving priest. Writers want an auto-complete function for social niceties.

Writers who like to talk like to tell stories, which isn't talking at all: it's recitation. Writers strew words in all directions like a child digging through a toybox, looking for something at the bottom. Writers close their eyes to hide themselves. Writers talk too fast.

Writers like a drink to hold when they're talking -- coffee or preferably a beer. Even better, someone's hand. It's easy to get lost in the forest of language, in the branches, in the dark.

Writers like to talk in the car with the radio on, with raindrops coming down and wipers squeegeeing the glass. Writers shouldn't know they're being taped, being filmed, being photographed. Writers don't know how to pronounce words they've written a million times. Writers aren't really here -- they're in their books.

This writer, anyway.

No comments: