If I can’t make you laugh, I’ll have to kill you.
May 9, 2016
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW, they said.
I stare at a blank screen.
I don’t know much.
Write what you think you know, they said.
I think I don’t know a lot.
Write what your heart wants to write.
That’s what the Muse said.
But then, he’d say anything for a fresh cup of coffee in the morning while the day was too dark to make any more sense than he did.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
It was a legitimate question.
“Your computer screen’s blank,” he said.
“Your mind’s blank.”
“You’re working with a blank sheet of paper.”
No argument there.
“You don’t have a plot.”
He was right.
“You don’t have any characters.”
“Nobody’s in trouble,” he said.
“Nobody’s in love,” he said.
“That’s why nobody’s in trouble,” I said.
“So dig down deep,” the Muse told me.
“That’s not deep enough,” he said.
I dug a little deeper.
“What story does your heart want to tell?”
“I’ve written thrillers.” I said.
“I’ve left bodies scattered from New Mexico to Germany with stopovers in Austria and Poland,” I said.
I’d shot a few
I’d buried a few.
I’d left some lying where they fell.
“I don’t want to write a thriller this time,” I said.
“Tired of the dying?”
“Tired of the unknown.”
“So what does you heart want to do?”
I stared out the window.
I thought it over.
Splinters of daylight fell through the trees.
I looked for the sun.
It had not cracked the sky yet.
“My heart wants to make people laugh for a change,” I said.
His smile faded.
“Can you do it?” the Muse asked.
“I’d like to try.”
“You know the problem you face.”
“It’s easier to kill people off than make them laugh.”
I leaned back and closed my eyes.
It was so much clearer now.
My mind was made off.
I would try to write a comedy.
But if nobody laughed by the third chapter, I’d start burying my characters.
They say a lot of comedians go out and die on stage.
I’ve seen them.
I’ve heard them.
I’ve cringed at their jokes.
As a comedian, I might die, too,
But I’ll take a lot of characters with me when I go.