I've been sitting on this for a while. I googled myself some time ago, and found that videos of me had been posted on Vimeo. Soo-prise! These will be posted, along with the performances of many other writers, to the Lip Service West website sometime soon, and that will be another post for another day. (Thanks to Joe and Justine Clifford, Idan Levin of the SPAD, and camera and sound man Donald Grant, who managed to compensate for my lack of mic skills. Sorry, Don, I couldn't find a link for you...)
I will be performing at the first Beast Crawl on July 7. I'll be at the Punchdown natural wine bar with the Lip Service West crew at 5:00. Depending on the nature of what goes before me, I'll either discuss my impulses toward violence or I'll make fun of a group of people unable to defend themselves against my slander. Either way, good times.
These memoir pieces have started to congeal into a new book. It's going to be called Bone Chips, for reasons perfectly plain to anyone who has seen the above videos. Yeah, once again, I'm my favorite subject. Like it or not, over the past few years, my writing has become a means of organizing and understanding myself more than anything else, and this particular work deals as directly as possible with my harsher experiences of life.
This is a very conscious decision. Writing uses up your past. In a way, by tackling the central issues in my life directly and briefly, I'm being creatively wasteful. Good. I do not want to treat my traumas and misfortunes as a hoard to be doted over, each glittering tear to be measured before it's taken to market. I've spent my entire life saying that I was steam-powered, and at my core was a boiling pot of hate. I'm using the hate up. I want to burn through it and get on to a new life. I need a better means of motivation, and I won't get one until the old one is used up.
So this is not 'the real Sean.' This is me telling the truth, and delivering my reality as directly as possible -- but it is a phase, a creative period, it does not represent all of my life, and it will pass. I'm doing a memoir not to be a memoirist but as a form of public therapy, and will go back to writing about fried baloney sandwiches and monster fights as soon as I can.
But until then, you should try and come see me read! Again, I'll be at the Punchdown wine bar at 2212 Broadway in Oakland, CA at 5:00 on July 7. I'll do my best to amuse -- as I said, you either get to hear about how useful Easy-Off Oven Cleaner is, or you get to hear me mock the handicapped. It's a win/win situation.
And for the record? Not to go into details, but the above videos have radically altered my perception of myself. I've been walking a little taller. If nothing else, any lingering doubts as to my masculinity are pretty much over. I've always entertained the idea that an all-Oaf planet would run like a clockwork dream, but no. I'd get on my nerves. I'd worry me. And sooner or later, the back of my head would grow so intolerably ugly as to mandate assault...
Thankfully, there's only one of me and I don't have to look at him unless I feel like it. It's a source of relief, I'm telling you.