Tuesday, March 1, 2016
MY LIFE AS A BOOK
Why don't you write a book about your life, Jon?
Easier said than done, Kemo Sabe.
I've been a published writer since I was sixteen and have written things in many genres (that's a word I dislike, but I'll use it). I feel reasonably comfortable writing about any subject - - - anything but myself.
It's not always easy to be objective about oneself, or brutally honest, or totally open. As a fiercely private person, I often astonish myself at the things I reveal in this blog. And, trust me, what I reveal is selective and delivered with caution. Usually.
I fully believe that there is a book in everybody, with interesting stories to be told. We're all unique in our own way. We are all only as boring as we choose to be. When we carefully reflect on our lives, it's surprising how many intriguing incidents we can extract.
I initially never thought of myself as being unique or interesting. I considered my life to be rather bland and mundane. Certainly not worthy of a book.
I started to really ponder my past and all the things I've done, the adventures I had. In retrospect, I've been privileged (and perhaps damned) to have had a colorful, unique, and unusual existence. Book worthy? Mmmmm......I dunno.
Jon, are you purposefully being modest, or are you ruefully manipulating your readers for sympathy and encouragement?
You've known famous people, have hobnobbed with the wealthy and privileged. You've slummed with junkies and hookers, and had a turbulent affair with an ex-con. You've performed as soloist with a symphony orchestra, lived on the beach in Baja, were chased by a mountain lion in Nevada. A very wealthy woman wanted to marry you. Another woman's jealous husband threatened to kill you in a very public place. You lived with a Hollywood actor, and had a tryst with a famous movie director in the Beverly Hills Hotel. You knew a gay porno movie director and attended orgies at his house. You've survived your abusive father. You've battled alcohol, several nervous collapses, alarmingly self-destructive tendencies, a profound inferiority complex, and panic attacks that would have frightened Freud.
Your life is worthy of a book.
You're very convincing, Kemo Sabe. And you've only scratched the surface.
(there's always an inevitable "but", isn't there?)
Here's why I'm hesitant to reveal all in a book:
Describing my real life, with real events and real people is extremely risky. And I mean extremely.
If I name names of people still living (or even people now dead) there is the possibility - or, rather, the inevitability - of law suits. If I change names and fictionalize, it's a HUGE copout. When you put it all down, indelibly, on paper, it's raw bait for shark attacks.
Even in my blog I am purposefully evasive about many details in my life. Revealing too much is always a risk.
And then there are the armchair nitpickers, who love to point out errors and mistakes.
If I say that I was at the Blue Parrot Bar on 4th Street in 1985, somebody will inevitably inform me that it was the Blue Flamingo Bar on 3rd Street, which closed in 1984.
Fortunately, my memory is incredibly sharp and I make very few mistakes.
So, there you have it, Geronimo.
I'm Kemo Sabe.
In conclusion (and not a moment too soon) - - yes, I want to write this memoir, publish it, and unleash myself to an unsuspecting world.
And I do have one important thing in my favor:
I've spent most of my life worrying about what other people think, catering to everybody's whims, bending over backwards to please (nothing sexual implied), and constantly discounting myself.
I've finally come to the point where I don't give a shit what others think. I have nothing to lose.
Now, please excuse me, while I start making a list of suitable actors who could portray me in the movie version......