The Inner Gary Busey
That blank white page is frustrating me.
It's been frustrating me for a few weeks now.
It is my enemy.
Do you know who else is my enemy? Gary Busey.
Or, rather, the disembodied voice of Gary Busey.
I'll write something. Whether it's for myself, or intended for publication, or for this very blog you're reading now. And I'll write it. I'll struggle with it. I'll wrestle with it. Sometimes, it's like wringing water from a cloth, and the cloth is twisted until the tension in it is pulling knots and threatening to tear the fabric. The droplets that fall out? They suck.
Or, at least that's what Gary Busey says.
Gary will read what I've written. He sees with my eyes.
"Boy," he say, his voice wavering between disappointed incredulity and derisive condescension, "that really sucks."
Gary Busey is my harshest critic.
"You can't do no better than that? You've been sitting in front of that computer for hours, and all you got is a couple of paragraphs about how much you hate some guy named Alex Gonzalez?"
You write what you know.
The voice leans in. I don't know how. It's Gary Busey. Gary can do anything.
"You ain't got shit, then."
Gary Busey is my inner critic. And he mocks me. Dammit, he mocks. And I loved Under Siege so much.
The inner dialog, it goes a little something like this.
I write: The bear went over the mountain.
Gary wanders up, from out of nowhere, deep within the recesses of my brain. Reading what I've written, he comments: "Naw. That ain't no good."
The bear lumbered
over the mountain?
"Lumbered, huh? Did you get that word the sameplace you got that haircut?"
What the Hell
"Never mind. Why the hell you writin' about a bear
(I can see his big, googly, scary, baked and burned out eyes even across the ethos. I do not answer.)
"Everybody's already written the hell out that bear."
I'm trying to make myself write, Gary.
"By writing something's already been written? Something that nobody care much about in the first place?"
It's writing something.
"No, it's writing nothing, and it's re-writing nothing."
I'm just trying to be funny. I figured it was a start.
"Trying to be funny?"
"Like a clown?"
Well, after a fashion, I guess.
"After a fashion?" (Incredulous, and a little angry. Like he might lash out.)
After a fashion.
"Like a clown?"
You're confusing me.
"I hate clowns. They scare me. It's the mouths, and the big giant teeth. And also the eyes and noses."
How did we get from bears to clowns?
"I hate bears, too. They scare me. It's the mouths."
And the eyes and noses?
"Are you mockin' me?"
No sir. I think you're mocking me.
"You get riled too easy. Need to take up some tai-chi. Settle your mind."
Will that help my writing?
What would you write about?
Texas? The state?
"No, retard, Texas the Panty Hose."
I've been to Texas.
"Texas the Panty Hose?"
What were we talking about?
"Your lack of writing skills. And that you suck. And bears."
You're scared of bears?
"Not scared. Maybe once. Maybe a long, long time ago."
But not anymore?
"One day, I had an inkling that I was scared of bears. And if there's anything that Gary Busey hates, it's being scared of something.
So, what did you do?
(Even though he's just a disembodied voice, I can feel Gary Busey leaning in, violating that personal zone, getting right in my face.)
"It's all about mastering your fear."
"It's all about letting that fucker know that it can't whip you."
Can't whip me?
"It's about getting in it's face, and saying 'Hey Bear! I ain't scared of you!' and then smacking the shit out of it, just to show it that you ain't kidding."
Doesn't that make the bear angry?
"Hell yes it makes the bear angry! It pisses the shit out of a bear! But you just gotta get back angry at it. Smack it again. Let it know that you're the boss."
I'm the boss.
"No, I'm the boss. Can you believe
that Tony Danza is getting a talk show?"
Back to the bear...
"Glad to see you're payin' attention."
You just smack the bear again?
"Just hit it again. Poke it in the nose."
Doesn't the bear fight back?
"Yeah. It fights like hell, sometimes."
Does it win?
"But at least you went out there and punched the shit out of the bear, and didn't sit there starin' at it, lettin' it whip you without even touching it. At least you got whipped trying."
"Yeah. I hate bears."
"Anytime. What are you thanking me for?"
Just the thought.
"Yep. What thought?"
What about clowns?
"Clowns scare me. It's the mouths, and the teeth. Also the eyes and........"