Andy Nowicki Interviews Himself on his Incredible Rise to Literary Stardom, With all of its attendant perks and hassles
****Dramatis personae: Andy Nowicki the obsequious interviewer, and Andy Nowicki the sexy, intense, tragically misunderstood artistic genius*****
Setting: the author's seedy, smelly, cluttered low-rent apartment
AN: (walks in smiling, clad in white short-sleeve button-up shirt with "wacky" tie featuring cartoon characters chasing one another, then coupling in various obscene positions: a wardrobe signifying simultanous emotional fragility and an ever-present, never-dormant desire to be thought of as a cool, hip guy) Hello there, sir!
AN: (shirtless, sullen, silent, lights match, looks at it, throws it down, crosses arms, smirks, grunts, picks up and eats a week-old french fry lying on the table, grunts again, looks at wrist, realizes he's not wearing a watch, smirks again, thinks, "two freckles past a hair," frowns contemplatively, becomes pensive, contemplates death, punches own crotch, cringes, doubles over, goes cross-eyed, smirks at his own mortality.)
AN: So... I hear you're rapidly ascending the ladder of success these days.
AN: Oh, that's good. Butter me up.
AN: (eagerly) Okay! (takes out a stick of butter, reaches over to rub it on AN's bare chest. AN knocks it down, and fixes himself with a smoldering glare-- an onanistically homoerotic moment). Sorry. Well, let's get down to it. What's in the ol' hopper?
AN: You know, honestly this self-interview thing is pretty gay. Do we have to do it like this?
AN: Sorry! I'm just a little bit starstruck... I've been wanting to meet you for a while now. So, (looks at notes, squints eyes, adjusts glasses) talk to me about your latest projects. I hear you wrote a book!
AN: Yep, and I published it too, with Nine-Banded Books.
AN: Really! What's it called?
AN: Considering Suicide.
AN: Man. Sounds like a killer.
AN: Ha! Good one.
AN: Really? You liked it?
AN: Yes, you're a very witty guy.
AN: Aw, thanks... coming from you, that means a lot... So, your book can be found at any local bookstore, right?
AN: (sneeringly) Hell, no. The ideas it engages are way too radical, controversial, and gutsy. Barnes and Noble and Borders and Waldenbooks and whatnot are too pussy to handle such a hot beef injection of ballsy provocation. But you can purchase it on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/considering-suicide-andy-nowicki/dp/0615263321 ), or direct from the publisher (http://www.ninebandedbooks ).
AN: So, your book has been out for (squints at notes again) a year now, right?
AN: And selling like the proverbial hotcakes. Well, bitter-tasting hotcakes laced with exotic but faintly odd-smelling spices and made from a rotten batter in an unclean pot. Not to everyone's taste. And if you're old, you'll struggle with the very small print. But still a post-modern classic. Hilarious and horrifying. To find out more, see http://www.consideringsuicide.blogspot.com/ . (Deja vu, no?)
AN: So, tell me about this new short story you're publishing. I hear it's a little racy, eh?
AN: It's called "The Poet's Wager," and it's set to appear in the December issue of Black Oak Presents (http://www.blackoakmedia.org/ ) . It's about a guy who---
AN: Let me guess.... a guy who's considering suicide!
AN: Only this time, he's got an attractive, rather sensual psychotherapist who tries to talk him out of it.
AN: Oooooh... Hot stuff. Does she succeed?
AN: You'll just have to read it and find out, big guy.
AN: Neato. We'll do that. If there's two things I love, it's suicidal patients and sexy shrinks.
AN: Not necessarily in that order, right?
AN: Right! Right! (snickers uncontrollably for several minutes in a manner that recalls Sheriff Roscoe's trademark giggle on "The Dukes of Hazzard") Ohhhhhhh. Gosh, you're funny. Oh, man! (rubs tear-stained eyes ruefully). So anyhoo, I hear you've also got an theological essay forthcoming?
AN: Yes, it's called "The Suffering God and the Culture of Death." It's set to appear in the next issue of Christendom Review (http://www.christendomreview.com/ ) due out in mid-November.
AN: And I'll just bet that it's about.... a guy who's considering suicide, right?
AN: Actually, no.
AN: No, it's a piece I wrote about the problem of a good God and an evil world, and how well-- or conversely, how poorly-- this conundrum is resolved in the teachings of Christianity.
AN: Oh, wow. Sounds deep. (tentative pause) Uh, is it boring?
AN: No way! In fact, it's got a ton of sex, violence, and profanity. Haven't you ever read the Old Testament?
AN: (sheepishly) Well, just Leviticus. Oh, and a chapter or two of Micah. And Nephi.
AN: Nephi's in The Book of Mormon, you moron.
AN: Oh, yeah. Right. (makes note to himself, mutters) Nephi...in.. Book... of Moron... Well, before we conclude this scintillating conversation, let's look down the road. I understand you've written about (looks at notes again) Columbine High School... Just wanted to lighten things up a bit, huh?
AN: Well, we all need comic relief from time to time. Instead of writing about suicide, spiritual anguish and psychological pain, I thought I'd write about mass murder, suicide, spiritual anguish and psychological pain.
AN: I've got an alternative history short story that's set in a world in which the Columbine massacre never happened; you can read it free of charge at www.docstoc.com/docs/23306278/tears-of-the-damned . And right now, I'm looking to find a publisher for what I consider to be my opus--
AN: (writing this down) Oh...puss...
AN: --a novella called THE COLUMBINE PILGRIM.
AN: So, I'll bet it's about a guy who's considering suicide, right?
AN: I'm not going to talk about the premise of the story right now. I'm only going to say that it's the first thing I've ever written that actually freaked me out. It's not often an author gets to do that to himself. I read it over, and I thought, "That came out of me? Holy damn, I've got problems...
AN: All right! Anything else to say?
AN: Not really. Except maybe that I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise, and indeed it goes so heavily with me that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you!-
AN: (looks) Ah hah!
AN: It appears no other thing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapor... What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infintite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable.... In action, how like an angel, in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet, what is it to me: this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me, no nor woman neither...
AN: Woah. You're right. You do have problems. You know, I'm starting to change my mind about you. I used to think you were so cool and intellecual and darkly mysterious and funny and stuff. But now, I don't know-- you seem like kind of a drag and a bore...I think I'll just see my way out...
AN: Not so fast, bucko. (reaches into crotch of his pants, whips out gun)
AN: (puts hands up) Hold on, now... What do you want? I'll give you anything...
AN: I need spiritual peace and security. I need financial independence. I need greater faith. I need to recover my whimsical, youthful sense of optimism. I need a return to a child-like mindset of whimsy and wonder. I need greater success! I'm gonna be forty, damnit! Give me success!
AN: (hands still raised) Sorry, pal. I can't help you with any of that.
AN: Bummer. (pulls trigger-- a BANG sign shoots from the barrel of the gun. Both ANs fall from their chairs, convulsing, and soon their too too sullied flesh melts, thaws, and dissolves itself into a dew. Curtain.)