Conversation Between Two Characters Who Wish Not Be Defined as Self

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Ooh, I get so mad I could scream; and I do!

Yes. Everybody else too.

No. Everyone doesn’t have the same temperament.

No, but experience the same matter of inner conjecture, as it were…ahem…


We all experience the same things but mood seems to be god; and everyone’s moods are different all the time.


I got it from Emerson. I’m just a hillbilly who reads too much.

Self aggrandizing. What are you selling; yourself?

Cut it out. It isn’t whether I like to do it or not it’s that if I don’t talk about all of my activities in a businesslike way and with purpose and meaning I am perceived as mentally ill or lazy.

All right. Everyone has picked someone up now and again.

No, they haven’t. Not everyone.

Almost everyone.

Probably. But I don’t know that for sure. And people start by not helping unless they absolutely have to and then falling off by degrees.

Well, I, pfff haha. Ok. I kinda like that one.

Thank you. Thank you very much.But it is just cheesy meloepigrammatics.

Hmm. I would say puns are cheesier. And you don’t mean anything you say.

Sure I do. It’s just that words have a longer life expectancy than they should when you are describing the way you think. I mean, that first person solipsistic stuff drives me crazy after a while. It is self indulgent and presumptuous; or, at least most of it comes off that way. I am talking about writers of lesser wealth and education then a Gore Vidal, writers like Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski. But at times the simple style measures for me visually in ways that I couldn’t imagine with, say, Victorian novelists like George Meredith.

Well, you are talking about two entirely different groups of writers. The art novel is an entirely different affair than the alternate reality novelists like Bukowski and Hunter Thompson.

Sure. And I think economic and social background provides the language. The Henry Millers and Charles Bukowski’s fiction represents the daily existence of General Population Joe, while Gore Vidal and F. Scott Fitzgerald represent the ivy league trust fund reality.

Given the choice my personal preference is to write the art novel but read the alternate reality novel.

Even Upton Sinclair and Emil Zola?

They are of both art and reality. I mean, try reading William Somerset Maugham at the speed you would read a Bukowski novel.

I would get tongue tied in Mildred’s verbiage.

Did you ever notice how Henry Miller’s life sort of resembled Aaron’s Rod, by DH Lawrence?

No. Nope. Can’t say I have. I never really liked DH Lawrence. Too much descriptive writing. I feel the author edging me to feel a particular way about his characters. Idk.

Remember how we got started reading books in elementary school, reading about Harriet Tubman and George Washington Carver, Washington Irving, Mark Twain?

No. Can’t say I can. Oh. I remember the Hardy Boys though. I kinda liked them.

When did you start talking like a hillbilly?

Idk. I heard the phrase Everybody’s got a country song in ’em and I got to thinking…

Got to thinkin’?

Walk with me here, please.

Well, you know what rock and roll says about country, “if it ain’t happening in country just wait three years.” That still true btw?

Idk. And stop talking down to me just cuz I cut off my words and listen to country. I don’t pigeonhole you.

Yes, you do. You are doing so right at this moment.


You are talking the one side of the thesis/antithesis assumption while I talk the other. We aren’t observing one another, just pigeonholing. You don’t know me. I have to play a role for you. We are at both ends of a rope and tugging in turns. We are at each ends of a saw, we are sharpening one another

Ok. I get it.

Yes, Lord.


We are each an omniscient author who learns station and place in ongoing resolution.

The old I and we thing again. It is getting stale.

Yes it is. Emerson again. I apologize.

I always thought it funny Emerson wrote an essay called Circles.

Yes. his oratory is like a minister. He was just doing what he was trained to do; give sermons. Oratory is not argument so much as it is arrangement. It is arranged like a song with themes and chorus. Like the old English hymns that inspired early American music, or the oratory of the Whitefield’s and Fox’s and the Wesley’s. Emerson inspired countless Americans who viewed existence as a constant work of art and that all that one did contributed to one’s art. Henry Rollins, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, all use the daily milieu to speak to the general population. It isn’t a value judgment of their art but an explanation for doing something you are not getting paid to do, which is viewed as a mental sickness if you are destitute and continue to do it at the expense of your own livelihood. Robert Anton Wilson is a sad story…

Ah, yes. Kind of seems unfair of the god of fertility to spread the wealth to Dan Brown, not that I am saying he is undeserving – I never read his books btw, saw the Davinci Code on television – but leave Robert Anton Wilson practically destitute, especially at the end of his life. I mean, I would like to say that we value individuals and their necessities over economics.

I fucking hate politics.

Funny how many people I knew who really meant the same thing when they said they just wanted to get away from it all.

Nobody talks to their neighbors much anyway.

Everywhere we go. Everyone hiding from the general population but willing to take a selfie with a celebrity.

Hostility towards gatherings of people is a mood that’s catching when internal dialogue regulators are faulty, thinking only in dichotomies, tropes, and circular references. We deal in appearances. We are in and out fast. We…

…are not all like minded. Some of us enjoy the shopping experience. So shut up. Go find something to do with yourself while I look at some shoes.

Pete recalls that one episode of the Waltons where Jim Bob got caught doing something or other and Pa asked him what he learned by the whatchahappenage and Jim Bob says, “I guess I’ll have to find something to keep my hands busy.” Daisy Jill once told Pete she hooked up with him because he kept his hands busy and not his mind.

Pete went to the lounge area of the mall to watch a football game and sat next to a guy whose girlfriend hooked up with him because he was the sensitive type and just needed a little encouragement to keep his hands busy. There is also a vague promise as a plumbing apprentice for her father or something. Pete sat there in his spiffified Banana Republic clothing and envied the other man. He appeared to be a factory worker perhaps, or an auto repair worker. If only he could’ve lucked into work like that. But no, Lisa’s dad had to own a neighborhood grocery store so he was responsible for grinding up the day old meat into sandwich salad.

What, is that what he said? Kind of ungrateful, don’t you think?

That thing about writing about what we know, you know, that simpleton narrative, uneducated first person as opposed to educated first person stuff…what, am I an uneducated simpleton taking simple objects and trying to write them large for no damn reason? I am just alternate reality dummy?

Ok. Ok. This isn’t supposed to be about you, it’s about the author’s story.

Oh, yes. Of course. Sorry. I get carried away in the first person.

Yes, you do. But no more, no less than anyone else. You and I are both aware of it all the time, it seems.

Yes. All the time. It’s impossible to get away from it. Nor would I want to. It makes me do art.

What, sing, draw, paint, write?


Yes, what?

All of them.

Jack of all trades. Master of nothing.

Maybe. Don’t care how it’s perceived.

I am not going to badger myself today.

I am not going to badger myself today.

Maybe go for a walk then?


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