These days, I call it Caution

In Artists, Circus, Drafts, En français dans le texte, Local projects on May 24, 2014 at 7:15 am

There’s something liberating about taking some of my most absurd personal traits and bestowing them on a fictional character. Of course, there’s always the ingrained self-consciousness that says: what if anybody confuses me with the character? What if, what if, what if.

What if: so what? In the worst of cases, they’ll be dead wrong and mortified if they discover their mistake. In the best of cases, I’ll be free to watch my characters act out their own versions of absurd melodramas or of real tragedies nobody wished to acknowledge as such.

The main point being, in my case: getting over myself. Maybe that’s the main point, period.

This said, there are nasty elements of reality that don’t take kindly to humor. Age has honed the coward in me to a healthy edge. Given a choice between circling the field or stepping up to the bull, I whistle a happy tune and wander by riverside, checking out this year’s production of leaves, twiglets, flowers, baby bugs, etc. Mourning does not become me. This may be a matter of physical proportions, and nothing else. When I look at images of famous tragediennes, all of them have elongated bodies and the faces to match. If for no other reason, this bars me from the ranks of tragedy.

All right. Back to the basic dilemma facing any would-be humorist: dealing with those ugly realities most resistant to the light touch. For one. For another, accepting the fact some of the humor will offend. In other words, the bull may escape from the pasture and tackle me as I tiptoe through the wild tulips.

Reason for which I keep honing my cowardice. Something like what trapeze artists do before swinging with abandon: they check the guy wires, the holding pins, the ropes.




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