As you can see, I made a tiny bit of progress over yesterday… but in many different ways. I got my son to finish his week’s worth of online school despite his not being completely well. I got the fake shutters off the windows on the wall where the city is expecting me to put up new siding so the house doesn’t shame the neighborhood. (I wonder if they threaten the other shabby yards and houses in the neighborhood with fines, or am I just special?) I got the dog to choke down 30 per cent of her heart-worm pill. And I added the keyboard and a tiny bit of Chopin to the Paffooney.
Why is the piano player naked, you ask? (Well, really you don’t ask, that was really me. But I have to connect the idea somehow, don’t I? Don’t answer that.) The piano player, like all writers, story-tellers, performers, artists, and other motley fools must put something of herself or himself into the piece. It has to be the true self, the inner self, the often private self. Having been the victim of sexual abuse as a child, the fear of being naked and vulnerable like that is nearly overwhelming. And yet, in a very metaphorical way, it is what I am compelled to do. (What? You can stop screaming. I’m not going to take my clothes off, if that’s what you’re afraid of. I know how horrifying that thought is.) I am only baring what I feel about the creative process. I am writing that part near the end of The Bicycle-Wheel Genius (the fool novel project I am now working on) where the bad guy must be defeated, the good must be made clear and maybe win out, and somebody dies or does something else irretrievably sad. I did it in Catch a Falling Star. I did it again with a major character in Snow Babies. And now, one of the characters that I have created and loved will die at the climax of this novel. A resolution and a death at the end of the tale, just like some cheap Robert Altman movie. How can you possibly have a comedy where nobody dies at the end? Wait, am I doing something wrong here? Who knows?
So that is the meat of this Paffooney process. I give you the drawing, even though it is not complete. I give you the ideas, even though they are half-formed and goofy as heck. A naked piano player… and, I don’t know if you can see it yet, a tiger swallowtail butterfly. The butterfly will be naked too.