True Story: The Columnist
[Editor's Note: Jack Grisham is an author, hypnotherapist, T.S.O.L. front man and all-around troublemaker. His weekly column,True Story, may or may not be factual, with characters who may or may not be real. This week is the last edition of Grisham's column. We wish him luck as he goes on to pursue new ventures and cause trouble elsewhere. His writings will be missed.]
He had a column in a local paper; 500 words a week. He used the space to tell short stories, lies mostly, but sometimes he told the truth. And as he always said, "the perfect concealment for the truth is to surround it with lies; one doesn't deny it or hide it, say it boldly and with conviction; treat the lies and the truth the same. If your depression is leading you into thoughts of suicide, then align your characters with that truth; give them depression and a gun; create them as hopeless, trapped, and desperate, and then let them sort it out.
If you're struggling with sexual dysfunction, or a general malaise in bed, create satyrs and nymphs; let them roam the streets without conscience or condoms. And if you're angry and the trail of those you'd like to kill wraps satellite style around the world, then by all means kill, maim, torture, and decimate your characters; set new standards in barbarism and genocide, create a world of victims and one by one, or thousand by thousand, pluck them from the perceived safety of their existence and rub them out."
One day I asked him about love. "Do you ever write of it?" I said.
He shook his head. "Why would I write of love? Love is an end, not an adventure. When you are in love the world stops and nothing but the breath of her can move you, and even then the only place that breath takes you to is a world where you fall and rise on the warm soft air of her whims. Fuck that."
I followed his column, week by week, it was wonderful; tales of betrayal, murderous cats, non-passing cross-dressers, men in chicken suits, and heavy handed cops on patrol; I loved it--39 weeks of insanity and anger. And then one week it wasn't there.
"Why did you stop writing?" I asked. "I loved reading your work."
"And I loved writing It." he said. "Shit, I was grateful that the paper let me do it."
"Then why'd you stop?"
"I stopped because it wasn't working, they wanted one thing and I wanted another. I don't play well with others. Maybe that's why I took up writing. You can do it alone. "
"I'll miss the stories." I said. "I really enjoyed it."
"Yes," he replied, "I'll miss them to. It's not often that you get to be a total creep and have people tell you that they love your work."