I apologize for my hiatus. I know it was against the rules, but I have come to the conclusion that three days is too short, too noisy, to make a consistently worthwhile website. A week is more appropriate. Having already broken that rule as well, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I’m working on a screenplay, and will subsequently be making it into a movie; and thus, this site may be delayed indefinitely. The screenplay is itself languishing at the moment; after the initial excitement wore off, I realized that my approach to writing it – to writing anything, in fact – is too serious to be any fun for me, or my readers. After writing one third of what promised to be world cinema’s most boring on-screen conversation ever, I decided I needed to take a detour and develop a better approach. My first step, I decided, was to make an anything-goes, quality-be-damned absurdist masterpiece. The other morning I thought of some very funny bits – I thought they were funny – and when I snuck away from work to get coffee, I found myself eyeing the girl behind the counter at Amer’s. She was beautiful, after all. I noticed that her blue shirt was adorned with a graphic making prominent use of a “Jesus fish,” that stick-figure pisces that symbolizes Christianity. (I just now looked it up, and discovered that it has a name. It is called the “ichthys.”) While that may put to doom the impure thoughts that were going through my head, I nonetheless liked seeing the little guy. I have always very much liked the Jesus fish; minimalism appeals to me, and the church we went to in my youth had one visible, somewhere, and I always wondered what it had to do with church. As it was a Catholic church, there were many symbols floating around the place, and each of them had some story behind it, and I always thought that one day, like my mother, I would know them all. I suppose I could have asked the beautiful girl about the ichthys, but as I was risking my job even being there, I opted to pay for my coffee and leave.

When I returned to my booth in the parking structure, I wrote the following scene, which I laughed at until embarrassed myself:

Shot of beautiful girl with big breasts, smiling with eerie constance behind the register. She is wearing a tight t-shirt with an eye-catching “Jesus fish” on the breast. Cut to our man, who is staring at her breasts, also steadily. CU Jesus fish. Cut back to our man. He should continue staring steadily.

MAN: Jesus.

After a moment, Man 2 ENTERS FRAME. After Man 2 finishes speaking, Man should take a conspicuous amount of time to turn to Man 2.


The two men EXIT FRAME. After a moment, right when we expect the scene to cut, Man’s HEAD REENTERS FRAME, looking you know where.

Later that day, I decided I should watch a movie every day. I ran next door looking for my friend who might lend me movies, manic on my quest to “infuse myself with media!” She wasn’t there, so I instead I watched Waking Life, which I had in my possession but had only watched once, years ago. I found I liked it at least as much now as I had the first time; for one thing, I found myself laughing a lot more. There is a scene near the end of the picture in which a man playing pinball (the actor is the writer/director himself, Richard Linklater) tells the main character about an essay written by Philip K. Dick, in which he (Dick, that is) tells of a story he had written that was later uncannily mirrored in reality. I remember being intrigued when I heard about it before, but my suspicion that Dick was a drug casualty dissuaded me from ever researching it. Well, this time the movie had fired me up in all directions, so I found the essay online. It’s called “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later.” If you have never read it, you should do so now. Go ahead, I can wait. (I am text, and therefore inanimate.) Did you cheat? Did you skim, instead of read? Did you skip over the part about the ichthys around the girl’s neck?

Now, you either think things like this are extraordinary, or you don’t. Some people are comfortable calling anything a coincidence, no matter how improbable the event. I am not one of these people. In a future article, I will discuss some experiences I have had along these lines (one was very much like Dick’s – writing something as fiction which I later witnessed, against all odds, as fact). But for now, I bid you vale.