Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Askins: Blogging Bloodworks

Robert Askins:

That's not the real one is it.

My Mother married a man named Charles after my Father died.
They had known each other for a long time. We all went to the same church.
Charles' wife died slowly of cancer. My Father died quickly of heart disease.
They used to go out together. My Mother, My Father, Charles and his wife.
Charles and his wife adopted a child around the time I was born. The boy's name was John.
We played together.

This was all a million years ago. Now Charles is my step father, but really just my Mother's husband.
He helped me move once in college after he married my mother. We sat at a Burger King. He told me a story.
The story was about John.

That story is part of Wrench. It is not Wrench. Wrench is not that story.
The character's name is John. So there is that.

I just sent out the email for the play. Cheryl is Charles daughter by birth. She is John's older sister. She does my taxes.
We correspond through email. I sent her the spam by accident. I only realized it after I pressed send. I am now worried
about an email from her. An email that starts... "you have no right."

When I wrote Princes of Waco it started with a story about my friend Polar Bear. He fell in love with a girl we called NASCAR Jamie. All these names are true. I was worried then like I am now. By the time it got to the stage, nothing of that story remained, but when my Mother watched the play and saw the dead father's Rolex being bandied about she leaned over to my aunt and said:

"that's not the real one is it?"

So there is that.

Horton Foote wrote a play about his home town, Horton Foote wrote all his plays about his home town, but the first one he wrote was called Wharton Dance. Later he would change the name to Harrison. Later he would change all the names. But he did it once with all the names right. I listened to him talk a lot. He said it was important to change the names so people wouldn't be hurt.

Kerouac wanted to rewrite all the novels with one vocabulary of names so that these people he knew could be traced from novel to novel. So you could follow the one person who had so many different names. But not they're real names. Because they weren't themselves on the page. They were them passed through Kerouac but...

We know there is a one person. Don't we?

Shakespeare had a son who died named Hamnet.

We like to play the "who is it" game. Don't we.

But we don't wanna have the game played on us.

I just checked my email and Cheryl still hasn't sent me a message telling me I have no right.

I almost married a writer who wrote a play about our relationship. It made me so angry I almost broke up with her. We were in bed and I told her with closed eyes, "Some times I use the death of my father for sympathy." The line ended up in the play. When I heard it the first time all the air went out of me. So there's that.

I asked my roomate about it. She said:

"fuck'em its yer art"

but she's a narcissist.

I did it. I do it. I will do it again. It has hurt people. It does hurt people. It will hurt people again.


I feel bad about it. Most of the time when somebody says something like that: "I feel bad about it." I say: "that and 2.50 gets you on the train."

This is what I do.
This how I live in the world
There is no malice in it.
I will get better about it.
I may figure out how to do it without hurting anyone.
I don't know if I will.

i am sorry.

that and 2.50 gets you on the train.

Rob's Bloodworks reading (the final one of the series, folks) of Wrench (directed by Dylan McCullough) is next Wednesday, 7/1. 7 PM. @ Seaport.
And stick around after the reading--we're throwing an end of the season party.

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