What’s Your End Game?

It’s September 1989 and I’m sitting in a cramped circular university classroom that’s intimate but strangely vast at the same time.

In walks the esteemed but much dreaded creative writing professor who promises us that after emerging bloodied and bruised from his red pen massacre we WILL be better writers.

Everyone but me of course will fulfill this destiny and go on to great things.

Eventually, as everyone already knows, I put this great man in an early grave . My repeated lack of success  and insistence on continuing  to make the same dreaded mistakes a testament and constant reminder of his only failure in life.  Curiously enough this point is driven home for you the reader  by the rapid  tense changes and dangling modifiers already at work here in this post.

The heat of the room, the promise of clear concise writing, the laser focus and true aim of the teacher.

I remember his question to me on that very first day,  “What is it you hope to achieve here?”

Because I didn’t have the right answer to his query he sighed audibly and launched directly into a reading of two of his most critically acclaimed works.

One  was a long-winded rant about removing an embedded tick from his testicles and the other a horrifying tale that gave vomit inducing details of the first glimpse he ever got of his grandmothers vagina.

 It was an accidental sighting of elderly poon of course but still that did nothing to deaden the blow.

Over the years I’ve had countless teachers, therapists, job interviewers and friends ask me the same question; what is it you are getting at?

What do you hope to get out of all this? What kind of results are you looking for? Do you have a plan?

You know what people?

I don’t fucking know.

There are so many people out there with great energy and world-changing ideas that  know how to execute to get to their end point.

I envy them.

Take for instance this blog.

Does it have a point, like a spear that can nail down things people need to know right where they can see them? Or is it just a grouping of mildly amusing anecdotal blurbs that barely qualify as something busy people should waste time reading?

If tangents and unrelated non sequiturs are a crime then I am the most vile perpetrator of these acts.

There are so many people out there with the knockout combo of such aim, focus and purpose that their goal is always in sight.

Like a good cook they add the ingredients, move them around with their talent spoon, toss a shot of spice over their shoulder into the mix and after arriving at the  end of the experiment you the reader have been schooled in all the things you didn’t think you were ready to know but  now embrace enthusiastically.

Never having thought of an analytical compare and contrast of the several types of foreign film dramas available at the local underground cinema you now know that your inner cinephile can no longer be restrained as you watch the next set of subtitled dramas from Czechoslovakia with a furrowed brow and marble notebook.

Nevermind that you’re now officially a humorless bastard with mean streak, this is where it’s AT!

Besides, the only thing you ever learned from my blog is that I like fur clothing, fancy the idea of owning a cloned mammoth and that when I run out of toilet paper I’m not above wiping my ass with other household items.

So let’s just say that even though it brings me great joy to tell you these things, I’m polluting already rancid waters in the moat surrounding my imaginary castle.

I will tell you that there are many qualities I love and appreciate in the people I read but none more than urgency and skill.

Some people can weave words into beautifully crafted sentences but can fail to move me. That is not to say they are not fantastic writers, they are, but there is something about the desperate force that impels someone to heave the inner workings of their mind straight into yours that fascinates me.

I want to smell your humanity.

And that last sentence is exactly  the type of shit that killed the professor.

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27 Comments

Filed under doomed teachers, I killed my creative writing professor, i won't follow basic rules, what is my end game?

27 responses to “What’s Your End Game?

  1. My own blog doesn’t quite have a point, I tried to make it have a point, which was to write about my ‘writing journey’ but that bored me as I don’t really want to be writing about every bloody problem I come across.

    I’m also not a Mother Teresa-type so I could not write really positive helpful ‘you too can be a writer’ kind of posts. In the end, I realised I’m just a self-absorbed mental artist who likes to ramble on about whatever the hell I want to ramble on about. Usually involves rock, rock music, rock musicians or vampires and once in a blue moon, the ocassional deep post…

  2. I’m sure you’re not fishing, but that post was pretty hot. I think you have arrived.

    • dufmanno

      If you look VERY hard at the tiny print between each line of this post you will see the phrase “validate me” repeated until the end.

  3. The very non-pointedness of your blog is why I love to read it. Sure, it’s great to have focus, but blah blah blah. Unpredictability is much more difficult to pull off, and for that reason, it’s also more genius.

  4. With or without a point you are a wildly entertaining writer.

    You also look pretty good in a fur bikini.

    • dufmanno

      My spear has a point and I’m sure that counts for something.
      For the summer I’m going for yeti fur. White looks good on the beach.

  5. I live for tangents and unrelated non sequiturs and I’m certain that your humanity smells like the pelts of woodland creatures and vermouth. Or maybe a summer day. I always seem to confuse the two.

    • dufmanno

      I was just about to ask you if you wanted to take a whiff of my humanity and lo and behold you’ve beat me to it.
      Only someone who got up in there and got a nostril full would know with that much detail exactly what my humanity smells like.
      Elly says it smells like hamster but I disagree.

      • I’m with you, I think hamster smell is probably more acrid from the whole constant defeat by the wheel issue. I’m going with the more musky fox as your particular brand of woodland creature.

      • Hamster….or wet wooly mammoth.

        And there’s a musicality to your writing that I can’t quite explain. Your sentences have rhythm and pitch. And I always want to wear knee pads when I come over here. Full of the win.

  6. macdougalstreetbaby

    Okay, so blogger has been dismantled for the past 2 days. I feel like my heart is going to explode. You’d think that I’d just grab a pen and paper. No problem, write (pun intended!)? But, no. There’s something about the keyboard, the audience, the ability to add my visuals that makes it right for me. Long story, short. I’m now at WordPress. Fuck Blogger.

    P.S. I keep coming back ’cause I love your style.

    • dufmanno

      I KNEW something was up when I couldn’t leave any comments on anyones blogger powered writings!!
      At first I thought it was my own inability to negotiate the CAPTCHA box and basic stupidity so I kept quiet hoping my skills would come back soon.
      Welcome to WordPress my pretty!! And your little dog too.
      Sorry, The Wizard Of Oz is on in the other room.

  7. nice try, but too bad. you move me. your guffawing at the rules, your stream of consciousness style, your preposterous and fanciful settings, your foul edginess, and yes, your tangents and unrelated non sequiturs are exactly why your writing professor was so wrong and why i will follow your every word all over the internet.

    • dufmanno

      These same reasons are probably why he’s also so dead. Still, I can feel him haunting me everytime I forget what the fuck a semicolon is for or where it goes.
      xo

  8. dbs

    Your professor sounds like most of mine were: drunk.
    Write on…because you are amazing.

    • dufmanno

      This guy was suffering more from the weight of his own greatness. It was like someone had thrown a concrete slab of wonderful onto his chest and he spent his life struggling to get out from underneath it.
      He definately enjoyed the writhing around though.

  9. I must say, “I want to smell your humanity” has the same lyrical flow as, “I want to fuck you like an animal” which, of course, was pure writing genius. (okay, smelling someone’s humanity would*hopefully* involve less sweat)

    Writing pros are typically pretentious douchebags……but I am actually dying to hear a revised version of his tick removal tale. Let’s skip the granny poon. Ack!

    On a final note, while writing this comment of granny poon, testicular ticks and animal fucking, I realized how much I miss our Victorian Era. “…and so, dear sister, it is with heavy hand and full heart, I plead with you. I must simply smell the air which surrounds the mammoth’s cage to remember your laughter. His head down and fur unkempt, even he seems to feel the absence of your presence. Do come home soon.” Ahhhh, much better.

    • dufmanno

      What a whimsical and moving entry!
      We’ve taken to the north wing of the summer house as father has fallen ill with a bad cough and foul fits of distemper that have served to upset the staff and weaken the morale of the whole manor.
      We look with a more positive eye towards the heat of the season as that might bring this spell of his under control.
      I shall keep you abreast of the situation as the long warm days continue.
      Your loving sister….

  10. You should write that on a little piece of paper and put it on his grave.

    Oh, and if I had any clue what I wanted to do with life I would be doing it, instead of wondering why all I ended up with was “potential.”

    • dufmanno

      You know what’s terrible? His replacement was a freewheeling playwright and television writer who looked like a combination of John Irving and Albert Brooks. The female portion of the class became instantly focused and cranked out epic work.
      I still feel bad he died, but I like to pretend that the stress of teaching the unteachable didn’t bring it about.

  11. “I want to smell your humanity” is a great sentence. Reminds me of Shakespeare. “Do not take my hand. It smells of mortality.” Lear, I think.

    I also loved the ass-wiping joke.

    I think we blog to connect with new people. It’s the most effective way to scrape off the pricks you made friends with by mistake. That’s all blogging is. Working out with friends.

  12. End point? I require further explanation… if there were a point to any of this, (this being blogging — not you in particular or your gifted prose) chances are I would have given up on it a long time ago. For now, I just think we’ve run out of stuff. You know, stuff with end points.

    • dufmanno

      I stole part of it from my husband and the other part from Samuel Beckett.
      His Endgame is a play in one act and it just made me think of all the times in my life that people wanted to know the purpose of what I was doing and if I was almost finished.
      Not that Samuel Beckett and I should ever be mentioned in the same sentence because that causes the earth to shift and all literary giants to groan collectively.

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