I’ve been fantasizing about you. Some people, sure, they pass these rainy hurricane evenings watching a movie to escape reality, only I’ve been fantasizing about you. I’ve been imagining what’s in your nightstand, or better yet, what’s under your bed. Some sock, old photo, or revolver, perhaps. Maybe tonight it’s a Gideon’s Bible. I’ve been thinking about your fridge, too, what’s in there. Maybe that Grass Jelly Drink I brought over last time we ate, which would be mean that you don’t have that preternatural urge for something new and which would suggest that you aren’t seeking some high sensation in a blue highway town. Maybe you never travel, and one day you’ll cave and dodge through the scoliosis suburbs on foot, running rabbit.
There are questions I could be asking you. Chuck Klosterman has a list of twenty-three that he asks, such as: would you rather live in Europe for a year with a monthly stipend of $2,000 or go to the moon for ten minutes? I’ve been considering what your response would be. Maybe you would say that you don’t like hypothetical questions, even though I could learn you better if I asked a couple. Or even if I asked a regular question: are you afraid of mimes and/or clowns? If you said yes, I would know that you let pop culture govern your fears. This week it might be mimes; next week, egg whites or secondhand smoke or Muslims.
I could ask, but I’m content spending my nights thinking about you. You might find this creepy. You might also find it creepy that I’ve been typing my thoughts. Alone, in my room, listening to the wind outside and The Hold Steady on the radio. A writing instructor used to encourage this behavior. A folklore instructor who used to call herself “The Ancient Mariner” would say that one never really knows what people talk about, unless one hides under their bed at night.
Damn. I could be under your bed right now, “eavesdropping.”
But I’m not that creepy, so I’ll just fantasize about it instead, about the type of thing you talk about at night, when all logic has transformed and a whole different set of possibilities exists. Maybe you had a Sundowner or two before bed, and well, we all know the metaphysics of bourbon on ice. You’d be more apt to answer a hypothetical question; anyone would. Particularly, I’d be interested in your answer to the following one, again from Chuck Klosterman:
20. For whatever the reason, two unauthorized movies are made about your life. The first is an independently released documentary, primarily comprised of interviews with people who know you and bootleg footage from your actual life. Critics are describing the documentary as “brutally honest and relentlessly fair.” Meanwhile, Columbia Tri-Star has produced a big-budget biopic of your life, casting major Hollywood stars as you and all your acquaintances; though the movie is based on actual events, screenwriters have taken some liberties with the facts. Critics are split on the artistic merits of this fictionalized account, but audiences love it.
Which film would you be most interested in seeing?
Because that’s one of the big things at stake here, when I write about you. Sure, if I’m guessing that you have fake moustache in your desk drawer, I can always write that you’re the “type of person who” keeps disguises around, and even if I’m fair and you’re disappointed, you probably won’t sue me for libel. And here I am, writing an unauthorized work about you, trying to figure out whether it’s fiction or a memoir. However it turns out, I just hope that you’re flattered that someone spent some time considering you.