On Sunday we celebrated my grandfather and Danielle La Paglia's birthdays with a little game. There was a photo of how I write. Everyone was invited to guess what was untrue about it. The ladies and gentlemen of the jury nailed five deceits, including one I hadn't really thought of before.
|I'd really rather write on the deck.|
The Five Errors
1. I don't keep an OED that close to me. It's on my shelves a short walk away, and I consult it a little less often than Etymonline or simply googling a word.
-Guessed by Anonymous N, Helen Howell, Cathy Oliffe-Webster and Larry Kollar.
2. I do not type on a Mac Book. I don't even own one; I borrowed it for this photo since that seemed easier than lugging my PC into the bathroom. I really wanted that computer in the tub with me, though.
-Guessed by Michael Tate.
3. I do not write fully clothed. In fact that thing I wrote that time, that you found the most touching and thoughtful of my works, was probably done in a t-shirt and underwear. For decency, I'm wearing socks while writing this post.
-Guessed by Catherine Russell and Larry Kollar.
4. The most obvious, but I have to count it: I don't write in the bathroom. The Bathroom Monologues are an oral tradition; I type them up later. Approximately ten Bathroom Monologues have been scribbled on toilet paper or in the margins of an available New Yorker.
-Michael Tate, Richard Bon and Peter Newman.
5. Richard Bon split a perfect hair: "At least part of the time you probably have your eyes closed while you write." I can't fight that. I do blink, and static imagery betrays this. This supplants the stealth-error that I'm not actually writing. The Mac is only booting up.
-Guessed only by Richard Bon.
The One I Wish Was True
From Anonymous N: "John Wiswell does keep the dictionaries on hand; it's where, after battles unnumbered, he has managed to imprison all the words he will ever need. While he knows them all by name and never needs to open the pages, he does need to keep an eye on them so they don't cause trouble."
Three You Might Think Were Errors
1. Several people doubted the absence of coffee or liquor. I've actually never drunk alcohol and abhor coffee. All my absurdism comes from a lucid mind. If I have to, I'd rather have a hot cocoa with whipped cream.
2. I do actually smile when writing. In fact if I can trick myself into laughing, I usually take it as feeling I've done a good job. Typically I'm pretty self-critical.
3. That is my soap. It knows me better than it wishes it did.