I don't have the patience to use my scanner right now (sorry) (but this isn't a real blog post anyway) (so i figure you'll forgive me) (and besides, I just came back into the house to write this quick post--that's how exciting these finds are--and I'd have to go back into the garage and climb back up the ladder and re-open the boxes I already closed back up in order to scan these amazing finds, and honestly I'm just too lazy this morning) (it's because i spent saturday moving all of my books up into my new apartment) (after carrying 40 boxes of books--yes, 40--no exxageration--my whole body is like "fuck you and whoever taught you how to read) (i don't think i spelled exxageration right, but i'm too lazy to spellcheck) (THAT'S how lazy i'm feeling today) (wow) (oh my god i love my new apartment and i totally forget what i was writing about) (ummmm, reading back...) (oh, right, okay, so I'm too lazy to use my scanner, etc., etc., blah, blah, okay) but I still want to report back to you, my blog readers, about some of these amazing relics I just unearthed in the garage:
--a note from my step-mom, written seven years before she was to become my step-mom, congratulating my mom and my dad on their new baby, along with a note she wrote to me telling me that she was visualizing me being strong (I was born eight weeks early and not in very good shape at the time)
--a scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings of all of the reviews of the plays I acted in as a child, including one that mistook me for Will Ferrell. Or Will Ferrell for me, rather. When I was a kid, I took acting classes at SCR and acted in several of their Young Conservatory productions, which would get reviewed by the local papers. Okay, so, one of the first YCP shows I did (I think I was fourteen) was a production of Pinocchio, which starred a bunch of kids like me, and Will Ferrell. This was several years before he joined Saturday Night Live--several years before he joined The Groundlings, even--but Will Ferrell was still Will Ferrell to all of the kids in this play. He was the only "adult" in the cast (he must have been in his early twenties) and I remember thinking he was the funniest person I'd ever met. (And one of the nicest people, too--we all loved Will.) My point is: Will was super funny, so our director decided to use him as pre-show entertainment: while all of the kids and their parents were coming into the theater to find their seats, they'd find Will already on-stage, sweeping. He'd tell the kids that he was the stagehand and he was getting things ready for the show and once he'd engaged a few kids in conversation, he'd riff with them. And all of us kids who were IN the show would all be huddled around the monitor backstage listening to Will because he was freaking funny. (When I heard he'd been cast on SNL, I was like: "duh.")
Anyway, so I found this box of reviews in the garage, and of course I stood up there on the ladder for thirty minutes reading all of the reviews, and one of the reviews is a total pan, they have absolutely nothing nice to say about the production EXCEPT that they mention that the stagehand "played by Erik Patterson" is hilarious, and a stand-out, and the only reason to see the play. The review doesn't mention Will Ferrell at all. THEN, on the next page of my scrapbook, there's a retraction that basically says "in last week's review of SCR's Pinocchio, we mis-identified the actor who played the stagehand as Eric Patterson. Actually, the role was brilliantly played by the brilliant Will Ferrell, while Eric Patterson, who we don't really remember, and whose name we aren't even going to spell correctly in this retraction, actually played a role credited as 'Townsperson' and did we mention that Will Ferrell was brilliant?" Of course, I'm paraphrasing, but that was essentially what the retraction said. I realize I'm about sixteen years too late, but I kind of want to send them a letter asking for an apology for misspelling my name. ("In the 1991 review of SCR's Pinocchio, we misspelled...")
--the novel I wrote in eighth grade! THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING FIND. I thought I'd lost this. It's terrible, of course, but I'm really impressed that I had the persistence in eighth grade to write EIGHTY PAGES. I wrote this during my Stephen King phase, so the book is a total wannabe Stephen King novel. I need to get back to the garage, but I'll leave you with the first chapter of my first (and so far, only) novel (which, by the way, is completely insane) (and remember that I wrote this during my Stephen King phase) (and also remember that I was fourteen and weird) (and also note that this novel written fifteen years ago proves that I've been a fan of parenthetical statements for a long time) (okay, enough ado):
by a fourteen-year-old Erik Patterson
William Shepard never knew terror before. He still doesn't -- not yet, at least. Terror will come soon. Very soon. [I'm going to write in some commentary because I can't hold my tongue, and also as an ode to Sheila's Diary Fridays.] [I love how melodramatic this opening beat is. "Terror will come soon. Very soon." Ha. Nice, Erik.]
"William get up! You're late!" His mother can be annoying at times. "Get up and go to work! You are late!!" At least she's persistent. [Okay, so...William has a job, so he's probably an adult, yet he still lives with his mom? Oddly prescient. Maybe I was trying to prepare my own mother for that fact that I would move back home myself when I was twenty-seven.]
"Okay mom. I'll get up." He gets out of bed sluggishly. His body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds.
William's mother, Melanie, has four children. Besides Will, the oldest at nine-teen, there are Daniel, Stacy, and Alexis. Daniel is an oddball eight year old who collects bugs, studies them, dissects them, and sometimes
(but only when they're squirming breathing they're [sic] last breaths of air crying for help help help)
eats them. If you said he wasn't obsessed, you'd be wrong. He is. Bugs are his life. [Do you like how the narrator suddenly becomes schyzto??? Just wait, there's so much more schytzo to come]
Stacy and Alexis are the twins. Besides the obvious fact that they are both fifteen and in the 9th grade [which is so obvious, Erik--why'd you even feel the need to mention it?], they are exact opposites. Stacy is the popular one. She only cares about her hair, looks, make-up, clothes, high heels, and last, but definitely not least, boys. Boys, boys, boys. Johnny this and Chris that. She has boys growing out of her ears. Stacy is up to her neck in boys. [Pick a mixed-up metaphor and stick with it, Erik!] It would be an amazement if she only went out with ONE for a week.
Alexis isn't so lucky,
(oh but she will she will she will be soon as lucky as stacy wild thing)
if you can call Stacy lucky. [I'm so creeped out by this weird second narrator in the parentheses. And even though I was still years away from even admitting to myself that I was gay, I totally think that Stacy and Alexis were, like, manifestations of my inner gay debate team. Like, I secretly WAS boy crazy like Stacy, and wished I could express that. But in reality, I was just not-so-lucky Alexis.] [Who, by the way, I'm certain was named after Alex P. Keaton, because this was written at the height of my Michael J. Fox obsession.] When Webster thought of the word "tomboy," he was thinking of Alexis. Alexis is more likely to be referred to as Alex because she's just "one of the guys." Also, her entire wardrobe is black. Black shirts and black sweatshirts and black pants and black shorts and black socks and black shoes and black hats and black underwear. [Okay, Erik, I think we get the point: the girl likes to wear black.] Black and black and black. [Seriously, we get it already.] It's all black. [Dude, you're not Dickens, getting paid by the word. Ix-nay on the ack-blay othes-clay.] It's as if she's mourning life. [I just want to point out that I didn't read any Chekov until college, so this wasn't actually an ode to The Seagull's Masha, it was just me being really brilliant and Chekovian.]
Before Will can finish his breakfast, a half a piece of toast, his mother nags him to go to work. [Again with the mother nagging him to go to work!] [And how long can it really take to eat "a half a piece of toast"???] He leaves the crust on the plate and throws it into the sink. The plate rattles like a two-headed coin, unsure of which side to land on. [Young Erik, you were a weird young dude. You decided to personify the plate???? Why is this moment so important??? Just send your protagonist to work already.]
"Go now. Get us some money so your brother and sisters can eat. Can you do that for me? Just once, can you make me happy?" [Wow, mom's kind of a harpy.]
"Mom, I want to talk to you about something. I want--"
(to move out have sex with my girlfriend in my own bed instead of at the drive-in the car on the seat popcorn spilling king kong roaring) [I remember thinking this book was so brilliant, I was totally going to be the next Stephen King. But I can't help but be really weirded out by myself as a fourteen-year-old. "sex with my girlfriend" and "king kong roaring" in the same strange character thought parenthetical? I have no comment, but: gross.]
"Not now. You're going to be late." She shoves him out the door and slams it shut behind him before he can respond.
"Good morning to you too, Ma," [Ma????? When did he become a hillbilly???] he says under his breath as he starts to walk down the wet streets. It rained last night. Will heard the rain parade against the roof. Thunder rattled the windows and woke something up inside Will. He had an eeiree [sic] feeling that sent shivers down his spine. The trees glisten in the sun as they sprinkle raindrops into newly made puddles.
Plip plop. Drip drop. [I am not making this up. I have eighty pages of this.]
William works at the Fistita Movie Theater. [The FISTITA???] It's only a short walk away from their house (so is everything else in New Amitee). Will's the person
(along with carla motor mouth johnson oh she gives will a headache) [So let me get this straight, Erik: some of these parenthetical statements are first person thoughts, and some of them are third person? Okay...]
who cleans the building before it's opened to the public, and between each movie. You may call him a janitor, but he prefers custodial engineer. It's a shitty job either way you look at it, Will thinks, but with each day, and each paycheck, Will comes closer to a place of his own. Will has had to take care of the family ever since his father ran away with another woman and his mother started to lose it. They'd been faving an affair for six years. Six years! That's seventy-two months, two-hundred and eighty-eaight weeks, or two-thousand and sixteen days. [Thanks for the math lesson, Erik. Hey, what's Alexis' favorite color to wear? Was it black?] It's enough to make Will sick.
(but you threw up remember all over the videos lost your job remember had to take this shitty job remember) [Okay, wait, so are these parenthetical's supposed to be, like, the devil talking to Will? I'm getting a random vague memory that maybe they're supposed to be the devil. I guess I'll just have to keep reading to see.]
Will wonders when they saw each other. Could all of those business trips have been fake? Was he really with Samantha on all of those trips?
He finally decided to make her dreams come true and shatter his wife's in the process. They moved to Paris. [In the margin, I've written a note to "change this, make more realistic."] When he was married to Melanie, she always complained that they didn't go anywhere. They hardly ever even left New Amitee. "That lowlife, rotten, son-of-a-fucking-bitch" is how he is referred to at home. [I remember being excited that "writing a novel" meant I had the freedom to swear as much as I fucking wanted to, because that's what novelists did.] Well, that's what their mother calls him. The kids don't refer to their dad at all. Will thinks about him as he scrapes gum off of the bottom of the movie seats. [Dad, don't read anything into this!]
An uneventful day [oh, but terror will come soon--VERY SOON], besides finding two quarters, a nickel, and one of those annoying pins that plays a little tune every time you touch it [huh?], under a seat at the Fistita, brings on the night. [Fourteen-year-old Erik, that was a terribly confusing sentence, even before twenty-nine-year-old Erik went in and added his thoughts.] The night brings only dreams and darkness. [Of course it does.] Lately, darkness and dreams have been especiialy common to Will. [Hmmm, what kind of darkness and dreams? Maybe you want to be more specific.] Black darkness and terrible dreams. [That's better.] Terrifying dreams. [You don't say? Maybe because TERROR IS COMING SOON.] The kind of dreams that leave a taste in your mouth and won't
(ever ever ever)
go away. Tonight is no exception. His dreams always start out wonderful, but they end............
[I hate reading about dreams, even in novels. Except for in Crime and Punishment, those are some pretty groovy dream sequences. Anyway, I'm annoyed at my fourteen-year-old self for making me have to type in this boring dream sequence. Feel free to skip ahead if you're still reading this and you don't want to read about some fictional nineteen-year-old's dark and terrifying dream.]
He is sitting on his bed flying through the sky. A dove lands at his feet. It sprawls in the sheets and looks at Will with bright, blue eyes. Then it soars off into the night. Clouds rush through his face and give him a natural high. Bright and shiny stars are within grasp. They give off a glowing radiance too wonderful to describe in words. The world goes on forever. The sky is endless. The ground is miles away. A flaming comet rushes above his head and warms Will's heart. Sparks bounce onto the bed, only to whither away and die. The feeling of the air engulfing his body leaves a chill up his spine. Will has reached Nirvana. He could sit here forever. It seems like he does. [Seriously.]
The bed begins to decline in speed and lose altitude. It's falling into a pit of fire. Hot, raging, monstrous fire. It's alive. The same dove he saw before flies above the fire and is eaten by
the hot fit of flames. Blood bursts into the air
(on his face his hands his mouth his)
as the bird explosed. Will closes his eyes
(wipes off the blood spits it out of his mouth)
and refuses to open them ever again. [I don't remember who Daniel is supposed to be, maybe he's a devil character. Gosh that dream really set us up for a lot of terror in the pages ahead, didn't it?] [I find Will a rather to be melodramatic character. Um, closing your eyes and refusing to ever open them again? Grow up and go to work, Will.] [Oh, wait, I just remembered Daniel is the oddball eight year old who collects bugs, studies them, dissects them, and sometimes (but only when they're squirming breathing they're [sic] last breaths of air crying for help help help) eats them. So wait, the kid eats doves too? Dude is seriously anti-peace.] But he does open his eyes. He opens them when the bed halts to a stop ten feet above the massive flames and starts to spin. [Wait, so he opens his eyes and HE'S STILL DREAMING???? Make the dream sequence stop!] Slowly, at first, and then it picks up speed. The scenery is changing faster than his sister, Stacy, ever could. [Poor Stacy. She's such a slut. Why can't she be more like Alexis and wear black for a change.] Things go by too quickly for Will to figure out what they are. Then everything stops. The world. The sky. The bed. [Hello, melodrama.] William knows where he is. [I think it's funny that sometimes he's "Will" and sometimes he's "William" and it's completely arbitrary. But back to the dream...Will knows where he is, eh? I'm gonna guess he's in hell.] He knows it well. [Okay, maybe not hell.] Will is in Jellison Park. [But...Jellison Park??? What the fuck is Jellison Park??? It sounds too much like Jellystone, too, and now all I can think about is Yogi Bear.] He used to come here when he was a child. Behind that old oak tree he had his first real kiss. It was with Christina
(oh chris i love you chris i love)
Ramsey. [Notice how I gave the girl love interest character a name that could be shortened into a boy's name? I was so gay.] This is where he broke his leg when he was just ten. Another child shoved him off of the monkey bars. He landed on his leg, in the sand. [That must have been hard sand to break his leg.] He heard a snap and was rushed off to the hospital. [This novel is filled with non-sequitors. My favorite one is coming up, about some kid named Johnny Peterson.] That day, he vowed revenge on Johnny Peterson, the kid who broke his leg. He got his revenge years later, for this was where he had his first fight. The fight was with Johnny, but Will can't remember what it was about. It was about something stupid--not about the leg--at least Johnny didn't know that it was about the leg. Some present problem started the fight, but the past fueled it. [Geeeez, Will really held a grudge against that kid who broke his leg. It was probably an accident. I feel sorry for Johnny Peterson.] What was Will doing here now? [Are we seriously still in the dream sequence. Holy crap, this dream is going on for an eternity. I totally need to get back to sorting through boxes in the garage, but instead this dream is like "yadda yadda yadda."]
Just then, he noticed a man leaning against the very oak tree that he had stood by when he received that kiss from Christina. Mr. Samson, the high school principle [sic] lay limp, blood dripping from his mouth. Mr. Samson was
(dead oh my god he's dead you wished he was dead and now oh my god he's dead)
and Will felt no regret for the man who put him through all those hours of detention. [But narrator dude, this is just a dream, remember? Or did you forget that Will hasn't woken up yet?]
"But it's not my fault, is it? I mean this is only a dream, right?" [See, I told you it was just a dream.]
(your dream your wish and now it's come true you wished he was dead and now oh my god he's dead) [Oh, so maybe it ISN'T a dream??? Whatever happened to Stacy and her boycrazy ways? I want Will to fucking wake up already and go check out boys with Stacy at the mall. Maybe they could even buy Alexis a new outfit, something with some color.]
"Oh my God! All the blood! Did--"
(dan ate him but he eats bugs not people he eats bugs bugs not oh my god he's)
"Only a dream, only a dream!"
With a rush, William wakes up from his dream. [Finally.] No, nightmare. [Thank you for the clarification.] Sweat is streaming down his face. The clock says one A.M. [William goes to bed really early for a nineteen-year-old. Back when I was nineteen I rarely got to bed before two. But then again, I guess William has to get up early for his job and all. Still, if he's going to bed early, you'd think his mom wouldn't always nag him so much about waking up, which can be really annoying.] Will is too frightened to go back to sleep. Instead, he sits and stares at the cottage cheese ceiling trying to make pictures out of it. But Will can't stop seeing blood. [Is this the terror? Did the terror finally come?]
"Will, wake up. Mom's got breakfast ready," yells Daniel from the hallway, snapping Will out of his daze. [I think Will should take a little bit of money from his next paycheck and buy an alarm clock.]
"I'll be out in a minute--just get away from me!" Will's body shivers.
(mr samson you ate mr samson and now oh my god he's)
Will doesn't want to get up and face his family. [After all, his mom nags too much, one of his sister's is boy crazy, one of his sister's wears too much black, and his brother eats bugs and apparently people--who would want to get out of bed and face that? I mean, really.] He feels like all of the worlds' problems
(death death death)
are weighing him down. [Will really just needs to take, like, a chill pill. Or eat some ice cream. Or, seriously, go to the mall with your sister Stacy and check out guys. Just lighten up! Enough with the "death death death" and woe is me, terror is coming, crap.]
Will showers, dresses, and joins his family in the kitchen.
"Well well. If it isn't my number one son. What took you so long?" [As if she's not used to having to nag him for twenty minutes before he gets out of bed.]
"Hmph," Will grunts. "Where's the paper?"
"Here. It's so awful. They found your old principle [sic] dead last night. It's right here in the newspaper. Check it out. Eaten by the looks of it. They say he was missing an arm." [Have some compassion, lady!]
(eaten by the looks of it eaten eaten by daniel)
"He can't be dead. This can't be true."
"Sure is. Right there in black and white. The paper doesn't lie."
(not when someone is dead eaten by dan) [That made me laugh out loud. I love how obsessed he is with this weird notion that his eight-year-old brother ate his principle (sic).]
William walks into his room, locks the door, slumps down, and cries. Until he falls asleep again. [Wait, you're not going to work today??? And you're not afraid to go back to sleep??? What if you have another dream about your brother eating someone else???? Don't go back to sleep!!! More terror will come!!!]
That's the end of Chapter One. The first line of Chapter Two is: "Once asleep, the dreams begin again," and I can't bear to read any more.