My previous post was a work of fiction, meant to mirror where I am in the final edit of Darker Prometheus and possibly stir up interest by blurring the line between fact and fiction. But unfortunately, art doesn't always need help down here in New Orleans when it comes to imitating life. Literally hours after my post, there was a real shooting on Bourbon Street around 3AM that killed one (who apparently was someone close to a friend of mine) and left two injured.
My thoughts go out to the victims and their families.
NOPD reports confirm that shots have been fired from inside of Samson's Live Music club located at 433 Bourbon Street. There is no further information at this time, but TedTorres.com will check in with regular updates as they develop. Tune into WWL-TV for their live, continuous coverage of "Crisis in the Quarter."
Last night I had a cocktail or two or three, and it was one of those sensory experiences that catapulted me back in time, right back to the very beginning of my work on the Trilogy. And by this, I mean the Special Collector's Editions, the ones that were being given new life just as I felt I was being reborn. The first sip last night took me directly to the kitchen table at Kim's house, obsessing about how easy and great and satisfying this work was going to be, even splintering off to write a short story or two, we're talking full-on writer mode here.
And there were guns, plenty of guns. I'd buy a replica air gun (BB and pellet) practically every week off the Internet and become excited immediately, my take on compulsive, online shopping. I'd discovered small cigars, and a flirtatious rekindling of my relationship with alcohol, and the best was that divine mixture of Absolute Vodka and Minute Maid Grape Cranberry.
Now it's past noon on this Saturday, and I'm starting up again. I'm drinking more Red Bull and feeling more determined than ever. I can't think of two better drinks than my vodka and my taurine, and perhaps one day I'll mix the Absolute with the Red Bull and write a full set of encyclopedias.
That's right, know when to stop. Don't be like Ted. He's been on a steady drip of taurine since about 8AM. But what Ted remembered eventually is that the level of intensity he needs to get through these last, action-packet chapters comes only in short supply. It's maddening to Ted. It's enough to get Ted speaking of himself in the third person.
Begin first person: It's been a good weekend for Book III. Lots done. Finding a new momentum, or it found me, like a hook being reeled-in by a fisherman named The End.
A mild weekend here in New Orleans that will have devoted to it many cans of energy drink and a determination to bring this tale to a close. There is panic currently at the nightclub, at Samson's Live Music, and everyone is looking for answers. It's the momentum that I need to match, this need to understand why those questions need to be answered and answered now. They need to be answered by this weekend, and then the rest will just flow from that. Less cryptically speaking, I've reached the revelatory section of Book III on this overcast Saturday, and with a head full of taurine and nicotine, I plan to let my characters all know where they stand before it all explodes and everyone starts running towards the ending, which by the way, happens somewhere in St. Bernard Parish.
What the fuck is Ted talking about?
It looks like we're here, at that moment when the ending begins. And it starts with an observation, a shifting of energy that prompts the question: "Did you hear that?"
Can't think of a better way to come around the straightaway. It's been a grueling but rewarding road, and this third book, Book III, will bring with its completion a sense of satisfaction that I can feel twinges of already. The Trilogy will exist, will be out there to grow with the rest of the universe, and with this end will come the beginning of the next phase of my work. I'm certain I'll revisit the material, or at least build on it to create titles with subtitles that say: "A Blanket Story," and I look forward to that absolute new page turned.
Next up will either be that new Blanket Story or a completely different novel altogether, one that's already near completion and has in fact occupied me during a good portion of my end in Alabama and my new beginning in New Orleans. What can I say, this is only the beginning. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. --from "Closing Time" by Semisonic (1998).
A few nights ago, Kim and I settled on "Jaws" as the movie to watch on Netflix as one or both of us fell asleep. Can you believe that? Fucking "Jaws" to lull us to pleasant dreams of not swimming.
“Jaws” was one of those movies that as a kid I couldn’t shake due to a certain imagery, but it wasn’t the imagery of the shark. We barely got to see the shark thanks to the prop reportedly never working correctly during the production, and this has been argued to be the reason why the shark was so scary in the first place. It was because we couldn’t see it, couldn’t take any long stares at the thing, leaving what we remembered of it really just memories that we created using our own fears as fuel.
But glimpses of the shark are not the images I’m referring to here. It was instead that one scene, the one scene that I remember being so affected by as a child that it sent me off to draw pictures of it, to re-enact it using my Star Wars action figures and any number of rubber sharks bought for me during road trips to Florida. It was Quint, and it was the image of him sliding into the mouth of that shark, screaming and kicking at the teeth of the thing, trying desperately to sway its intentions by stabbing it on the nose over and over again. And then it was that close-up of Robert Shaw spitting blood out from between his teeth, and that agonizing scream, never having seen the teeth penetrate mind you, but hearing it. That was it. That’s what defined “Jaws” for me.
And I’ll be damned if when that scene happened during this past viewing, I felt that same sense of horror, that same visceral reaction that I’m guessing the less sophisticated audiences of 1975 had when they first saw it. It was what made “Jaws” one of the first blockbusters in cinema history, that reaction, and it was done so masterfully by then wunderkind Steven Spielberg that even now it’s up there with any of the more gruesome, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination computer effects of today. I thought about what it would be like to be inside of that animal, and it was because of that scene right there, that one that made my toes curl in a bad way.