I’m Fantasizing about You

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.

10 Comments

  • Jason Sommer jason says:

    me & my siblings are particularly fond of klostermans’s #2: Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while his head is held in place with thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but completely immobile. And let us assume that—for some reason—every political prisoner on earth (as cited by Amnesty International) will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes. You are allowed to wear steel-toed boots. Would you attempt to do this?

    and, for the record: moon for 10 minutes, mimes are fine, and the documentary in a heartbeat.

    excellent post, amaris. it made me swoon.

    • Amaris Amaris says:

      As a native Kentuckian, that horse question kind of makes me want to vomit. I couldn’t do it. Also, I don’t know if I’m physically capable of kicking it to death in under 20 mins, so I probably wouldn’t try. What happens if you fail to kill it? All you’ve accomplished is kicking a horse many times.

      Would you kick it? Would you be successful?

      Glad I could make you swoon. :)

    • Marcus says:

      Is there a platform around the horse, about two or three feet off the ground? I think the money shots would be to the head and maybe below the rib cage, which would be awful hard to reach from standing level. (Not that I could see myself doing it; I think I’d probably barf.)

    • Jason Sommer jason says:

      i think if you fail to kill it, nobody gets set free. that’s the crux of the thing. you really gotta be committed to that single, specific act of violence if you’re going to set every single political prisoner in the world free.

      i couldn’t do it, either. possibly for selfish reasons. if i did kick a horse in the head to death, i’m pretty sure that would mess me up for the rest of my days. but, marcus, if you wanted a platform, i bet they’d build you one.

    • tanya.debuff says:

      Nooo, let’s stop talking about the Clydesdale. I adore Clydesdales and one day I will ride one bareback on a beach. I’d pick the year in Europe. Mimes are whatever, and I’d also pick the documentary. This is cool, Amaris. I was just reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and she talked a lot about building characters, asking what they would do in certain situations, even if you never plan to have them be in those situations, and all sorts of other ways to create a really good character. of course, I was thinking about characterization in nonfiction the whole time.

      • Amaris Amaris says:

        What type of character-building exercises do you use the most often? Do you put them in hypothetical situations and think about how they would respond? I like using the list of generalizations (the “type of person who” game) or some revealing story that they have told me from their past or what they wouldn’t do…

        • tanya.debuff says:

          The only thing I’ve really done so far is to write a page or so starting with “It was a time when…” and then I describe what was usual for me then, what I wore, what I thought politically, etc. I’m blogging about this today, and it’s making me excited to do some character work. I would definitely try the hypothetical situations, that seems like it would yield some revealing stuff, if you asked the right questions.

  • This post made me wanna do artful things again. Sigh. Like write about the tricky ways Portland weather manipulates the body into wanting what it cannot have: sun, heat, dryness, a breeze to clear the wild fire haze. A cloud that doesn’t bare down on my soul. Thanks for this, Amaris.

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