Welcome Visitor: Login to the siteJoin the site

Tags: Dan, Perry, Campaign

In the beginning the hero wakes up and sees an angel in his bedroom. She tells him his destiny will be revealed by his 25th birthday, and she never returns. He is left so disappointed, almost suicidal, but inspired to try harder again and again.

This hero has the symptoms of schizophrenia, and understands himself as a prophet with a message. He is the easiest to doubt, but his strength is the audience wants to believe it, all of it, because he believes the impossible is possible!

In this fictionalized memoir, see our hero survive breakups, breakdowns, hospitals and dance clubs, and wheel a see-through nightgown on a garment rack up and down the streets to Market Square; to take on problems greater than his own, like how the universe began, and witness the smallest miracle- something from nothing- as a crowd begins to form, and the hero sees a real life need for his ideas, and celebrates his own story of creation.

Submitted:Jan 8, 2013    Reads: 23    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

by Dan Perry
ACT I: Love song Junkyard
ACT II: Naughty Pink Dress
ACT III: Before the Beginning
ACT IV: The Origin and Everything Else
ACT V: The Divine Expression
Folks on the fringe of culture create cultureout
of necessity. People in ideal situations
do not do remarkable things. They don't have to.
February 2011 The Candidate enters
"I will boast now, because I have never
boasted before. "Boast" sounds like beau geste-
somethingdone for honor, something done for a
foolish reason. No one asked me to write this, but
now, I see that I was urged to write anyway.
On the 6th of January, the Epiphany, I revealed
myself as prophet. The epiphany was not that claim.
Rather, I had just realized that I could prove what I
have always felt.
A prophet is just a person tasked to deliver a
message. Often a flawed individual. Perhaps the one
who is easiest to doubt. Believe that I had doubt
myself. I was reluctant. But the consequences are
grave for those fail, and I delivered a letter to the
local parish. I only said something because I
suddenly realized I had been writing it down all
I always keep a notebook. Every thought I have ever
had exists on some scrap of paper boxed away. If
you want to call me crazy, I can produce a series of
letters from the spring of 2006, where I admit to
madness, but I describe my feelings with such
candor that no one would find me mad at all.
I havealways hoped for a book, but I never thought this
collection of notes would ever appear in front of you.
In the first 250 words that started it all four years
ago, I summarize Buddhism, I complain about my
boyfriend, I list my psychiatric problems, and then I
admit that I saw an angel.
She told me I would knowmy destiny by my 25th birthday,
and she neverreturned.
In retrospect, I realize that dream triggered
everything leading up to the present moment. I was
left so disappointed that I began to write.
Now, I am starting a school. I don't look like
someone who is starting a school. And, for that
reason, I need proof in writing to show my ability. I
scribbled thousands of pages. Revised hundreds of
pages, and I ended up with this. Here it is.
Is it realistic? No.
Is it possible? Yes.
It may be unbelievable, but it is a faithful history of
my ability to see things another way.
I claim to have discovered a number that relates a
particle to a wave. I have totaled 177 original
thoughts so far, and each can stand on its own. I
rewrote the book of Genesis in a way that is
innovative without breaking tradition. And above all
else, I have acted perfectly disgraceful at times! But I
admit to it, all of it, because it shows the progress.
One story relates to two adjacent stories. There is
the story that you share, the story of how you came
to write it, and then the future story of the
achievement. Divine influence or not, I am a story
teller. I write to inspire a greater action. Even if I
have been terribly mistaken, still, I think you will like
it. If a "campaign" is a strategic action, call me the
Scene One
February 2007
About Turning 25: What stories do I have to tell?
Dated: "A week after my 25th birthday"
"Every night before I fall asleep I repeat to myself
one phrase. "If I don't expect anything, I won't be
disappointed." It is basically what the Buddha taughtthat
the root of unhappiness is desire. But I'll admit
that my take has bitter roots.
Most of my desire is for a better life with my
boyfriend of almost three years. I told him the day
before my birthday that I had realized that he loved
me, but he was no longer in love with me.
You see, I was deep in a delusion. I explained to my
doctor that my meds- 5 pills every morning, 6 pills
before bed- made me feel sick. I imagined they were
poisoning me. My body was telling me not to take
them, and I stopped. For two months I struggled to
take my pills, sometimes crying on the floor because
my own hands could not put them in my mouth.
I believed one night that an angel whispered that my
destiny would be revealed by my 25th birthday. I
waited, smoking cigarettes on my porch in the cold,
late each night, wishing each star could be another
angel on her way."
Scene Two
My strength is that I see myself as a Don Quixote.
My weakness is that others see me as a Don Quixote.
Fall 2008
Hello there!
I'm just off sabbatical myself, a fancy word for being
unemployed. When my summer job at the gift shop
ended, I really had no idea what to do. So, I
retreated into the woods in my own home town, and
without a plan, I began building a cabin by a little
pond- an homage to my hero, Thoreau.
I called it constructive meditation- doing something
to get your mind off of everything so that you can
focus on a greater good. And by the time I had
hammered in the last nail, I knew what I wanted to
Success is defined by each individual. I have
attempted every dream I have ever dared, from my
bankrupt furniture business, to the museum I wanted
to open with the curator who stopped answering my
emails. Or my defunct underwear business. And
Cheers! to the Khan Center that took an intense
thirteen days to develop, and did not at all appeal to
Dr. and Dr. Khan.
I am not afraid of what some may call failure. You
see, I have failed so many times at things that no
one else would even attempt. I have been in one fist
fight and never again- I brag that I am undefeated! I
spent the glorious summer months tuna fishing every
weekend out at the "Fingers" and "Jeffery's Ledge."
And we didn't even hook one. But I never returned to
the marina feeling like I had failed. I had spent the
whole day where all you can see is sky and water…
I do not do things by the book. In fact, I have
stopped reading books. I feel that anything I really
need to know is already within me. I believe with all
my heart in Plan A, and will never admit to having
any sort of Plan B. I have never waited for
opportunities. I prefer to create them.
Now here's a story. I bought a box of old keys at a
junk shop. I counted 680 and I felt that a key is very
much like a fingerprint, and that a fingerprint belongs
to an individual. I suddenly had faith that there must
be 680 people that I should meet. Further, a lock
represents ownership and a key that no longer locks
anything up must stand for freedom!
This was a time where I seemed to have no direction
to go in and I tried to follow my heart. And where I
ended up was back at the junk shop where I
discovered a jar of old keys. Nine hundred keys now.
To most people they are ten pounds of scrap. Some
days I'll agree. But it is like a puzzle for the mind, to
dream up a remarkable purpose for these keys- a
purpose for me- and to believe that 900 people will
rise in standing ovation to what I have discovered.
Why? Just because no one else on earth would
have ever have bothered to try!
ACT I: Love song Junkyard
Scene One
After the breakup
December 2007
"Either you want me, or you don't want me.
And if you don't want me, why have you wasted my
I keep writing new beginnings to the same story. The
same words from a different perspective. A different
man- the same situation. The same illness- a
different medication.
But tonight, at three minutespast midnight,
I'm breaking out. I'm finishing what I
have started and I am moving toward yet another
"once upon a time…" The same old hook- worn out
and remixed and released.
Home early from the club- wasting time on drama,
but inspired. Treat me like shit and I will write you a
song! Because this is a fucking love story- for being
single, staying single, and not feeling alone. I wanna
scream "fuck you!" but I'm too much of a gentleman.
No, that's not true. It's worse. I still haven't given up
on you.
Once upon a time, one Christmas Eve, I fell in love
with a musical theater major. To win him over, I
thought I would write him something beautiful he
could perform. I wanted him act out the story of meto
put his body in my place, to use his voice to speak
my words. But before it even began, it was all over. I
crumpled up his picture and threw it in the snow. But
even a fleeting love can inspire! And what I ended
up was this love song for him- dramatic, honest, and
foolish - never to be sung from his heart!
Scene Two
Let's go back...The break up/ the breakdown
April 2007
A lot has happened in the past three months. More
than has happened in the past three years. That's as
far back as I'm willing to talk about. Three years is as
long as we lasted and three months was how long it
took to fall apart.
But this isn't a story about fallingapart.
It's about moving- about packing up and
unpacking somewhere new and exciting. You see,
Iam moving out tomorrow.
We lived as boyfriends for three years. We tried to
live together as friends. And then, we decided not to.
So, to commemorate the occasion, I'm writing it all
down. Capturing the moment. I'm hoping to
understand it for myself, and to share it with others
so that, at the conclusion, someone out there will
nod in agreement to it all.
Let me explain this to you as if I were telling it to a
new friend over a cup of coffee. Let me assume that
you know nothing about me so you will see things
the way I see things right now.
I'll start by saying it's a blessing. It's what God gave
me. It's a gift. It has given me passion, taught me
about priorities, and about how to be healthy and
It has inspired me. I truly have the temperament of
an artist. I see the potential in a piece of junk on the
side of the road that could be repainted to look like
art, or a friend in a stranger with a certain charisma.
It's mostly an uncomfortable feeling, like waiting to
for a teacup to fall off the edge of a counter top. Like
sprinting along the knife edge of a cliff- when you
want with all your heart to be running the other way.
It's like driving a car very fast on a very windy day
and the wind blows your car all around. You keep
driving straight- but barely.
But most of the time I am just like this. I like to think
that I can hide it. That it doesn't affect other people. I
have worked hard to contain my symptoms. That is
different than stuffing them down. I simply dig a
trench around the fire that burns within me, so that it
can't scorch any farther. And I let it be and I let it go.
This very work is a symptom. When I talk madly I
worry that I am becoming mad. It is a fine line- a
struggle to find balance. Sometimes I feel like a
superman, that I am unstoppable. And I go from an
inflated ego to nothing special at all.
And more than anything, it is exhausting.
My last major episode was three months ago. That's
what they call them, "episodes." Like a TV show. I
fell apart. I collapsed on the floor. And that is the
point when everything changed. That is the point
when I really began moving on with my life.
For months preceding that crisis I would lay next to
him thinking he was a stranger, wondering why he
wouldn't put his arm around me as we watched TV. I
would lay with my back toward him, and tell myself
that if I stop expecting anything than I won't be
So for all this time- for about two months- my
symptoms had been escalating. I met with my doctor
in January and I had told him I was feeling pretty
good. But that's how it all begins- with a deceptive
feeling of well-being. I had energy. I felt happy. I was
getting things done. All the while I was madly writing
down the details of how to open my own furniture
store. I was racing from one project to another, out of
breath and barely a breath in between.
Then over the course of several weeks I was
sleeping less. I was staying up late and getting up
very early to write. At last I felt a breakdown was
inevitable. My boyfriend was leaving for California for
work. I kissed him goodbye, and I secretly hoped
that I could make it until he returned home in a week.
Three days later, I bounced out of bed at four in the
morning. I did the dishes. I worked on a business
plan. I did the treadmill. I fixed a chair. And at eight
in the morning I collapsed!
It was wonderful that I survived it. It was terrifying
that it happened. Reassuring that I did everything
that I needed to do. I admitted myself to the hospital,
and when I got out I found that my relationship was
We lost each other, but we kept the apartment. Me in
one room. He, in the other. And now, we are both
moving out.
So, what am I doing with my life, now that I'm going
to be on my own again?
Now, I have designed a box. A very simple 18 inch
cube that is multifunctional and customizable.
Nothing more than something to keep your stuff from
falling out and all over the floor. Now, I need to sell
the lifestyle that goes with these boxes.
I have a vision of my boxes next to a rich looking
sofa on the cover of Architectural Digest. I want a life
that is simple but not boring. That is casual, yet
organized. I want people to throw out their junk,
organize the good stuff, and add something new to
their room that they love. That is what getting better
is all about.
I want a business. I want to be known as a great
philosopher. I want to be a literary therapist where I
heal past trauma with books!
I want to publish this book. Appear in the New
Yorker. Then publish an anthology of collected work
by others struggling to do the impossible. I want to
take other peoples stories, other peoples voices, and
cut and paste them all together to make one strong
and powerful voice combined.
Now, what's in my way?
I was recently told that you don't really understand
life until the age of 53. This was told to me by a man
about the age of 53. But it makes sense. By then,
you learn what is important. You give up on things
that just aren't going to happen and focus on what
you really can do. Growing older is just measured by
how you view success.
For me, I look for answers on the inside. I gave up
reading in favor of writing. My favorite poems are the
ones I write myself, because they say precisely what
I need to hear right now.
But what I know is I have broader spectrum of
emotions. If happy is red and sad is violet- I feel
things far past the infra reds and beyond the ultraviolets!
It hasn't really sunk in as I write this on a mattress on
the floor. I am on my own now- I finish packing up
today- I finish writing today- all my life is in boxes. I
have completed my first quarter century. But, this is
hardly about turning 25. It is about how we connect
and disconnect from others.
My influence may extend no farther than the reach of
my own two arms. But maybe that's the best any of
us can do- contribute one link to whatever holds us
Scene Three
Let's go back... Before the relationship
May 2004
This bitch is pissed.
This is not an apology. I have already said I'm sorry.
If I meet you now and you take offense to any part of
my story, I owe you nothing. You weren't there and
you don't know. So...
"Fuckin' listen up, 'cause I don't repeat this shit.
Excuse me please, but who the fuck are you! No,
don't think I'm rude, but who the fuck are you! You
are fucked up my crew of fucked up friends. But I am
fucked up too- running on pure adrenaline to get me
through. Fucked up is getting up, my fierce friends
and waiting for the day to end.
I do not mean it as a put down though you think I've
crossed the line, I'm telling you right now, I'm taking
back myself spirit, body and fucked up mind.
This is my diagnosis, not the doctors. This is my
definition not the dictionary's. This is my word and I
will use it how I wanna. This is my label and this is
how I pin it to my lapel. This is my time to bitch about
my problems and to spark a revolution! My platform,
my banner, my mad fucked up delusion!
I wanna piss off every doctor who never heard my
shouts of pain- at this point I've not a thing to lose
and everything to gain!
I wanna be a pioneer-psycho-prophet with a
message of hope- I wanna unite my people, row us
to shore in what we have built for a boat.
I am a pharmacist magician- this is time for a fucked
up definition!
I wanna wake up when I want to and drink too much
coffee and smoke too many cigarettes and have
somebody or something to love. I want to write. I
want to teach. I want to lead. I want you to shake
your past by the collar and put it to work for you. I
want you to find inspiration in the times you didn't
think you would make it. Find a leader when you
thought you were alone.
Who the fuck are you? What the fuck will you do?
My rhymes are over for now, but let me introduce to
you act number two:
Are you still asking who the fuck am I? Well, once up
on a time, they called me Billy Drugs, and Billy Drugs
has just laid down to die."
Scene Four
Billy Drugs
"Gimme a minute, will ya, to find the voice of Billy
Drugs- If I don't explain it well, it's because it's a blur
to me too. Polyester pants. Crazy sunglasses. Bud
light suspenders. Cheap vodka. Cheap beer. And a
dirty broken bong.
They called me Billy Drugs. Nobody knew my name,
but they knew I liked to get fucked up. And the name
stuck across campus. I was party boy number one.
Any day of the week, any time of day and the party
went on and on.
An inflatable swimming pool filled with beer after
Billy's father died and mimosas all afternoon on the
roof. Security knocking the door down. This is Billy
Fucking Drugs. Do you understand me? A joke. A
false prophet. A junkie and a trip. This is Billy Drugs
who became Billy Drugs. A code word. The
underground. Billy Drugs could hook you up. And
doctor Billy Drugs would make you feel better. Wow!
Billy Drugs. A shot of cough syrup, a handful of pills,
bong rips and a beer and he was out the door on an
adventure that never would have happened
This is Billy Drugs. Hiding behind a name. A
forgettable little boy thinking like a rock star,
launching into an audience. God bless Billy Drugs.
From when he rolled a keg away from the pub and
drank every drop of it. Smoking a joint on the steps
of the library at dawn. Dragging a giant cross
through the halls like Jesus. But you really couldn't
fault him. This sweet fucked up kid really believed it
all. So how do I make you believe Billy Drugs?
Because this is a fucking love story!
About Billy being in love with a bartender and so
blind drunk he couldn't be good. It all happened on
his graduation day. A fight with mom about being
gay. The boyfriend and the relatives potentially
colliding. A fight with the boyfriend. A make up. A
shaky understanding of who he was in the world and
a phone call that would change everything forever.
He had fallen into the open arms of another that
night for just a minute or two. He had phoned to
confess his sins. And he had discovered that an
engagement ring had been bought and was to be
put on his finger later that day and he snapped. He
grabbed a knife and he did the damage and he went
outside to wait to die. And he waited, and waited, but
he just wouldn't die.
But in a way Billy Drugs died that day, and was
reborn, to be reborn again and again until he could
get it right. Remember, this is fucking love, and it
takes a long time to realize that."
Scene Five
The upward spiral
Thirteen days after New Year's 2008
I must have been saved by God
in thirteen days
on the fourth floor of a hospital
after seven years of illness.
What did I need to learn
in seven years
so that I couldn't have been cured sooner?
On day one, I threatened to run away but I didn't.
Day two. The fog cleared from my head and years of
fighting to think made me quick.
Day three. The sewage drained from my ears and I
finally heard some sound advice and was ready to
take it.
Day four. The rage went limp so that I could think of
a flower and not want to crush it.
Day five. The shackles around my ankles slipped off
so that I would be able to run for miles along the
Day six. the blinders at my temples fell away and the
world outside became a vivid panorama.
Day seven. My heart came out of the packaging
ready to love.
Day eight. I held the hand of an elderly woman and
made her laugh.
Day nine. I quit biting my tongue and I laughed out
loud myself.
Day ten. I asked a question I was afraid to know the
answer to.
Day eleven. The middle finger I had been showing
the world all this time relaxed so that I could once
again hold a pencil. I wrote "thank you."
Day twelve. I wondered why it took so long.
Day thirteen. I finally left, and as I looked back, I
suddenly felt no regrets at all.
ACT II: Naughty Pink Dress
Scene One
April 2008
Would you like to see a magic trick? I will create
something remarkable for you out of virtually thin
air…. A polished public image. A sordid rumor. Front
page news or a supermarket headline!
First of all, everybody knows that word of mouth is
the best advertising.
But word of mouth doesn't just happen. You have to
give people a story to tell. And if you don't have a
story, then you have to make one up! Think of it this
way: if your message is a pin drop, then everyone
has to stop talking to hear it. Advertising is about
making people stop for a moment so they can get
your message. Don't worry about being heard above
the noise. There is just too much noise to compete
with. Think more, my friend, about generating
applause- the standing ovation!
You see here: I give you an ordinary length of tulle. I
use pink tulle as my calling card because it is eye
catching, glamorous, and most of all- ahhem…
The lesson is, and listen carefully now, this tulle
does nothing for nobody until you pin it to a story:
Once upon a time this remnant of pink tulle was
draped around the canopy above the bed of the
Princess and the Pea. She tossed and she turned all
night long. When it was discovered that she was
indeed a real princess all the most beautiful fabrics
in the kingdom were collected to make the most
beautiful dress any princess had ever worn. Down
came the pink tulle and around her little waist it was
wrapped. And of course she lived happily ever after.
The fate of the dress, however, was not so kind.
Jealousy provoked her wicked in-laws to pull the
dress apart, each fighting for the most beautiful
piece. Where these other fabrics went cannot be
traced, but a little shred of pink tulle wound up in the
hands a quick little elf that could spin tulle into gold.
The tulle passed for gold for hundreds of years.
Then one day, it was traded for a beautiful set of
bedding, its original purpose, and the spell was
broken and the large gold coin returned to pink tulle,
unfolding ruffle by ruffle. The end.
This is advertising by the pin drop method. This is so
unusual this will make people stop. They will linger a
little longer in your store. They might ask the staff
what the heck this is? And you will say, "It's a story
none of your friends will believe." You are
challenging them to word of mouth.
It costs nothing. It attracts attention. It makes people
laugh! It breaks the ice. Advertising is about telling
stories. Create something remarkable about this pink
tulle. It says it's OK to dream. It will create
comments. Create moments. It makes people feel
good. It's all about inspiration!
And if you are not comfortable with this ad, good!
Comfortable advertising gets the same stagnant
results. Will this cause your store to be filled? Will it
make everybody buy? Will it get them to call their
This will get your customer talking to your staff. Word
of mouth starts with talking to your sales people.
Direct your sales people to give the customer yet
another story to carry home!
There you have it! This whole sha-bang cost me
$1.50. Give me some credit and imagine what I
could do with a budget!
Scene Two
So. Is it human nature to be a little black dress, or a
naughty pink dress? Are we born with it? Is it a
lifestyle choice? Do some dress both ways? People
may ask about the lady in red? How do I handle that
question smartly…? A red dress is hard to pull off for
anyone! That's a whole other level of fashion. A
whole other debate. And we don't have time for that
right now!
But between a little black and a little pink, is one
dress more sophisticated than the other? Well,
depends on the dress. You really have to think, don't
Do little pink dresses have more fun?
Thinking strictly in terms of fun, the pink dress looks
more fun in general. But think of the woman. Which
woman is having a better time? And what does it
mean to have fun? That's the question. Is it what
you're wearing, who you are with, what you are
doing, or how or many bottle of champagne you
shared? The pink dress might get you more
attention. You may feel more bubbly in a pink dress.
These are all urgent things you must consider!
The point is this: the little black dress has dominated
fashion for decades and I am suggesting a change.
No. Insisting on a change! The little black dress is
more versatile in that you can wear it to a funeral!
But pink is my favorite color because it is the color of
life. It's never a sad color. It is always happy and
vibrant. I think pink is power because pink gets
noticed. Pink is the new black. When that's on the
cover of Vogue I can retire!
So back to my question. Do little pink dresses have
more fun? What's the deeper question? What is fun?
Fun is laughter, feeling good, anticipation. Maybe it
is different things to different people, but fun is an
aspiration. Everybody wants to have a little fun
So, where is this getting me? How do I get people to
agree, and how to I take that into action? Well,
contact Vogue. Write an article. Pink is the new
Black. Provocative. Front page material. I have a
message, and an obligation to deliver it. I'm taking
on Vogue. And I'm scared.
Scene Three
Ah-hem…Dear VOGUE,
Somewhere between genius and madness is a
powerful balance of intelligence, creativity, and
passion. After a struggle of seven years with the
mean reds, I recently came into my own, healthy and
full of gratitude. The storm clouds that filled my brain
dissipated into clean running water and all I felt was
intense and vibrant beauty. I had beaten a path
through chaos, and when at last I found peace, I
also, unknowingly, started down the path to fashion.
I was unemployed, living with my mother, and
figuring out what I wanted to do with my life now that
I had a new beginning. I had to start at the bottom
and create away to lift myself up. I had plenty of big
ideas, but few that were realistic. With no money, no
connections, and nowhere to start, I found
inspiration in the concept of the lemonade stand. I
dreamed of ways that I could take the simple
resources of a lemonade stand and do something
At a local Goodwill, I hunted for a flashy gown or a
dress that I could use in a promotion. Hidden
between a baby blue pants suit and an old wool skirt
was the just dress I had envisioned- a pink tulle baby
doll with sparkles. It was not high fashion, but it was
very cute and eye catching. I bought it for ten dollars,
hung it on a garment rack at home and tried to think
of the perfect slogan. Then it hit me. "Do little pink
dresses have more fun?" Of course I was playing off
of blondes and little black dresses, and it was meant
to be a fluffy question to spark a conversation with
people on the street. The question, however, proved
to be more provocative.
One pink dress may not seem so provocative, but
I'm on the street effecting change one pink dress at
a time! Understand the revolution! Just imagine, one
day, the cover of Vogue proclaiming Pink- the new
black! And perhaps it all started with me, here in my
own home town. I know the power of pink, and with
one pink dress just watch me have all the fun in the
Scene Four
An Invitation to Revolt
When the last of the snow puddles on the sidewalk
and then starts to dry, and the pocketbooks and
wallets hustle to Market Square again, a little pink
dress, on a garment rack, will roll into the center,
signaling, with its sparkles and layers of tulle, the
start of a revolution!
No longer is it a competition to
rise above the noise- it is an asset to be a pin drop.
People will have to stop to hear you. My job is to
make them stop.
I am not trying to make you believe me. I'm going to
show you.
The message of my art is simple- "follow me." With
acts like Big Dress, Red Carpet, Hula Hoopla,
Humungous Clutch Bag- stunts such as The Stiletto
Shuffle, Strip Fortune, Pink and Mink, and Tutu tees.
I didn't go to school for it. I didn't read a book. I
taught myself my own ideas. With pen and paper,
and a piggy bank full of nickels and dimes, I am
fierce and I am unafraid. I am a revolutionary and
this is the Pink Dress Revolution. No longer are we
chasing after customers, but we are making
ourselves so colorful that people are drawn to us.
We use people power and creativity. Thrift store
wonders, and town dump treasures. The little pink
dress will lead the way and will be our flag to follow!
Scene Five
"One penny into the well at Market Square
in the middle of a crowd
that can make your wish come true
if you only have the courage
to tell everybody your wish!"
The church bell rings nine times like Morse Code of
T, O… T, O… T, O… The boutique workers are
grabbing donuts and bagels on their way to fluff up
the pillows. Couples are getting out of their cars, still
in sweaters, to put quarters into the meters.
The garment rack catches on the cobblestones on
the way to Market Square. He shoulders it on his
back three blocks, pausing at the intersections. The
dress is draped down his back. The stiff tulle
scratches his cheek. People step aside and
everyone looks at the ground.
He reaches what seems to be the center of the
universe- looking over all of downtown. He erects the
rack. He hangs the satin straps of the dress over the
hanger, and, at last, the dress leaves his hands and
sags alone on the metal bar. To his right is a boy
playing a flute on the steps of city hall. To his left is a
fat man eating.
The dress looks cheap in the
morning, like a party girl walking home from
wherever she had spent the night. But we all own a
space on this planet, even if it's just the spot
underneath our own two feet.
His white t-shirt bears the inscription in iron-on
letters: Do little pink dresses have more fun? A girl in
pigtail ribbons throws a coin into the water. He
crosses his arms and the clouds above, from here to
heaven, begin to swirl. He has nothing in his hands.
No flyers. No business cards. People just lose those
things. He prefers to be remembered.
And I… will always remember you… Just the way
you are tonight!
ACT 3: Before the Beginning
"I was so upset that I lay down and I imagined a
swarm of bees disbursed from my head toward
every point on the globe and then returned. They
flew to the statue of Goodall in the park downtown. I
was desperate so I went there. There was nothing
remarkable in the park. I was hoping to see a help
wanted sign in a window. I looked where the statue
looked. I walked in that direction until I got to St.
Ignatius School. That is as far as you can go. I said,
well, there is nothing here. I went home disappointed
and forgot about it."
Scene One
Empty Spaces
Fall 2008
I did my best to organize my thoughts on the subject
of space and time across one broad sheet of poster
board, the color of the sky.
My poster board is an
ikon- a porthole to another realm, where my ideas
may come forward and inspire, then converge, so
that someone may squint and try to understand what
I try to understand.
I no longer want to be crazy. I want to alter the very
perspectives of reality, so that I make sense. To step
from madness toward genius is the distance of one
small, but important step. These are my beliefs. But
others must believe to reach truth. Yet it is so easy
to lie…
Perhaps I should stick to fiction. What do you
suppose? Call my delusions delusional. Crumple up
the poster board into a wrinkled ball the size of my
All across my poster board, my own empty spaces
make me feel that I have failed. Yet it is that same
empty space that I seek to defend- to define. These
are blank spots where something later may be
written- proof that as long as there is space, another
solution may exist! It will be waiting, and I will be
writing it down.
Scene Two
Oh God, it's wonderful to awaken during a season of
great adaptation, where every man has it in him to
be the hero or to be the villain. The problem is: every
hero and every villain plays to win.
Perhaps this has all been said before, but who is
saying it now? A poem should remind you of
something you had forgotten, said Robert Frost- a
long, long time ago…
I want to remind you of Hailey's Comet and how you
might have missed it because it wasn't clear that
night, or you were not in a clearing. You did not see
it passing through, but still you experienced it. It
happened anyway, and maybe you stayed up late
and caught a clip of its tail on the nightly news. I
remember being zipped into a snowsuit. My brother,
taller than me. Hard snow in the driveway. A sled.
It is now 2009.
It is January.
It is Sunday.
It is about 5:30.
It is 5:35PM.
It is after the sun has set.
It is 20 degrees outside.
My latitude is 43 degrees.
And you only asked me, "What's the time?"
Smash the alarm clock with the heel of your shoe, so
that we may tell time by the buds on the trees, by the
leaves turning the color of pennies, by the droop of
the stark and icy branch.
I am putting this work in the present, as close to now
as possible. But now was mid-January. It is no
longer mid-January, and I hope that am reading this
to you, in the darkness before we each turn over and
say goodnight.
For the word is already stale on the page, but ripe
falling from the lips and hitting the ground, tumbling
like an apple.
You see, the universe is an experience. It is about
introducing yourself and extending your hand in
curiosity. Breathe the oxygen where you are. Crawl
down and let a handful of ashes from your fireplace
sift through your fingers. To reach the heavens- it is
all so easy! Simply reach. It is not about making it all
add up- it is about believing it will all add up. It is
about making a wish on a star until you are so old
that you have run out of wishes. It is time to whisper
to a child to look up between the branches of an old
tree and to make a wish- eyes wide open! Telling
that wish to everyone!
In a pause, one breath ends and one breath gets
ready. You inhale. You exhale. You are about to say
a word. You have just said it. But wait, when was the
moment when you were saying it? And now it is
already my turn to speak.
Words are footprints of where you have been and
the period is where you stop and try to figure out
where to go next. On a larger scale you do not know
the authors intent until you reach the end of the
book. My father said that you should even read a
book three times over to begin to understand.
The big bang marked the end of something with a
dot. Your own thoughts begin when you reach the
dot at the end of someone else's sentence. It has no
measured quality in literature. There is no award for
the most abrupt use of the period. But the author
may live in torment over when to place that little dot.
The space between words- the silence- may be just
as important as the words themselves.
Is the span
between letters on a page any less vast than the
distances between planets? Is a pause any less
powerful than a shout!? You see, nothing is still
something. You can just as easily do wrong by doing
nothing as you could by doing something wrong.
How can something emerge from nothing? A blank
page that is no longer blank.
Math, where the space between numbers is just as
significant as the numbers themselves. The space
from 0 to 1. To approach 1, yet never reach it.
For 0 is potential and 1 is perfection, the divine. Zero
is our inspiration- the space that has yet to have any
value surrounding the very perimeter of creation!
The thin boundary between our world and the world
beyond, from nothing to something, that has no
measured quality, yet gives life, mysterious life, to
every object and to every being, here on earth and
Once, there was no life. Then, suddenly, there was
life. The moment the tiniest thing split off into another
just like it.
With what lips pressed to nothing began all of this?
The kiss of life. The breath of life. The moment, too
quick to measure, where one thing emerged and
then became two.
Scene Three
The Great Division
Do you believe that a message in a bottle could one
day just roll toward your feet from a long way off? Or
that a note tucked into a balloon could deflate
through your open window, and slither down onto
your desk. You must believe me, or I too, will be like
the shriveled balloon.
Because you are not here with me. I am here at
zero, with 1 on the horizon and the cleft between
here and there. I will just have to shout to you!
You will think that I am being silly, when I tell you
that I am standing here on a ball of elastic bands,
much like a very small planet. If you think that is hard
to explain, imagine the leap from nothing to the
smallest something, the distance of creation!
We exist in the parentheses around zero, which are
defined by the set of values from the largest
negative number to the smallest positive number.
These mystic values can be represented as funny
circles. Using symbols to suggest radii less than
zero, we can calculate that as the area of these
circles decreases, the circumference lengthens
and begins to collapse on itself. The result
resembles a tight ball of elastic bands- all
circumferences with no area.
You know, the space around zero is quite taboo.
You cannot divide it. It has no measured effect when
you add it. And when you multiply, everything sinks
to zero. But what about little pieces of zero? I know.
It is like cutting a hole in half. But if you take the
material around the hole, you can cut that in half.
Zero is the interface between positive and negative
values. But what is the interface between zero and
the first positive value? If you can suspend disbelief
and work with values that suggest figures around the
perimeter of zero, you may be able to help me make
a remarkable conclusion.
But, it's late. So, I start walking home, and this is
how I do it. I pull an elastic from beneath my feet and
it hums like the string of a harp. And when it slips
from my fingertips, and snaps back to the ball, a blue
balloon pops up! And now, a red one. The area I
create by stretching the circumference and then
letting go. These little puffs of air, giving shape to the
balloon. The balloon giving shape to the air. A little
bit of area, even volume that I create as I go!
Onward, upward, and forward!
ACT IV: The Origin and Everything Else
Scene One
The torture, said Faust, is the difference
between what I am doing and what I am able to do.
July 2010
The best thing I can say about myself was said by an
older woman in a junk shop down the street. I had
laid out on the counter an assortment of crystals
from old chandeliers. She said, "I like to watch you
look at things."
This is my plea for intellectual amnesty. I may be the
first to do so, only because there is an urgency to
work at my ability level. If I assert that I am smart
enough, I have earned an opportunity to prove it.
And if I am smart enough, I you will see a benefit to
me being here. It may be a reach, but that is why we
do things- to attempt something that does not seem
possible, and to follow through with it anyway.
At the point where two lines going into the future
intersect, I hope to open a one room schoolhouse on
the university level for advanced problem solving.
Just a room with whiteboards and notebook paper. It
will serve to remember my father who was the quiet
New England folk hero who taught me Feynman
diagrams, Modigliani, and the transcendentalist
approach to compost.
I didn't make a peep for two years, because I didn't
think it was true. But I have not yet read anything
that says it is not true. No one has said that I'm
wrong. No one has said anything yet.
I discovered a number, a value that has always
existed, but no one noticed. It is the interface
between zero and one- a value for the point where
nothing becomes something. I define the interface
and the interstice of any point rising from the
undefined. It forms a dynamic relationship between
the Fibonacci numbers, logic, limitations and
possibilities, and faith, which come together to form
the exponential structure of organized points which
we call a universe.
I am not a mathematician. I tell the story of how
matter and ideas start to appear in this world. I begin
with the geometry of eastern orthodox ikon paintingthe
plane where the perspective of the divine meets
our own questioning perspective. With that, I
describe how one thing relates to another.
I write so that someone, who has had no warning
what so ever that I have been working on this, will
suddenly nod in agreement to something that seems
to say it all. Because I might just say what we have
always wanted to be reminded of.
Scene Two
Let us paint our portraits,
not as we were when we were young,
but as the figure we may become.
The Mathematics of Ikon Painting
The ikon tells it best- the story of creation- the
creation of anything! From one dot to an infinite
spectrum of dots, any piece of art may be an ikon,
because art must bridge the gap between here and
somewhere else. But more, an ikon attempts an
impossible problem, how to evoke the divine.
Impossible problems drive the human spirit! Our
desire to fly or to ride on a beam of light.
If you fail to solve an impossible problem you may
still prove that an answer exists. To discover truth,
we must first believe.
There is what we know to be true. There is what we
may learn to be true. There is truth that has yet to be
discovered. And there is the mystery of the
undefined- the idea that has yet to be thought or
I unveiled something we did not know, which is the
spirit of the topic itself! The nature of things before
they exist and how they might come into being.
Yes. It is an obscure subject to study. However, the
obscure is often a backdoor to a more urgent
Scene Three
A preface to the Fibonacci Sequence: -1, 1, 0
It started with the Fibonacci Sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3,
5, 8… This is funny because it is just how the
sequence starts that has me all confused. If every
value is the sum of the previous two values, how
does it ever get going? How do you get from 0 to the
first value? Who bought the first rabbits in the old
example? And who really believes any of it at all!
Those scientists have their theory that it all began
with a POP! Then Fizzzz… the Universe. But
perhaps the answer is not in our universe but from a
world beyond. For instance assume we have a
bucket of {everything in the universe}. We could also
have a bucket containing {everything not in the
universe}, even if it just looks like an empty bucket.
Scene Four
The Undefined:
Before the beginning all was undefined. It may have
been how a toddler would scribble across the pages
opening to a favorite story book. It is the proof itself!
We had the urge to write before we knew how to
The pen moves across the page. Ah ha! It is the
page that moves beneath the pen- the ikon not by
human hand.
The divine existed as the largest and the smallest
point at once for there was nothing to compare.
Imagine circles that are all circumference and no
area, like a knot of rubber bands. It was the
undefined, like all things before the beginning. You
have an uncomfortable feeling. A little doubt. You
have a desire to begin step one before you know
step two.
Buckminster Fuller observed that if you do not act on
an idea within ten minutes it will never happen. At
eleven minutes it will seem impossible. The timeline
begins when the undefined reaches an interface. It
had to! For here we are…
Scene Five
The origin:
I use the word interstice to mean the space between
things. An interval of time. In Middle English it meant
a pause. I once heard it used to describe the way a
paintbrush leaves geometric little gaps between the
weave of the canvas. Tiny squares that escape the
Think of it this way. The interface defines a problem.
The interstice is the reason for asking. Together the
interface and the interstice form a dot out of what
would have been lost or impossible.
We will call the interstice {zero} and the interface
around it {-1}. Here we have a starting point, an
Beyond the interface there must be something else,
another value, even if we understand it as "not zero."
We will let {1} stand for everything that is "not zero."
You have taken another direction.
We arrive at the set {0, -1, 1}.
Three values make nine unique pairs of values- all
possible outcomes as coordinates.
The logic of comparison {NOT, AND, OR} is the
cobweb that holds these points together and apart.
This AND That
This NOT That
This OR That
Scene Five
A parable constructing the third value:
Once there was a time when you had no sheep. You
didn't even think about sheep. It just didn't occur to
Until one day you come across a flock in a field.
They are all soft and fluffy. They all eat grass. They
all go "baa."
So, you pet the first to come toward you, and what
happened next was all because she followed you
You name her Esther. You watch her eat and drink.
She likes to be scratched behind the ears. Soon you
feel that you know her, and you feel that she is
You go back to the flock. Now there is a brown one.
She comes toward yo


| Email this story Email this Book | Add to reading list


About | News | Contact | Your Account | TheNextBigWriter | Self Publishing | Advertise

© 2013 TheNextBigWriter, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Policy.