[September, 1994] The Best Revenge
9/17/94“If I could start again
A million miles away I would keep myself I would find a way” – NIN
I need to take a break from my schoolwork (how ironic. This log is for school). I don’t have much to write about. I’m sitting here, looking around my room, and there is nothing very noteworthy that I wish to express. I‘m still refusing to reveal anything personal. If I want someone to know something about me, I will tell them myself. Otherwise, I’ll keep my feelings inside and not on lined paper.
I’ve decided I want the main character of some short story (maybe the next one) named Nina. That’s sometimes the hardest part for me, thinking of names, because they have to be significant. The more I write, the less random my choice of names becomes. I like having that power, in a minor way it’s like playing God. You create people (though plenty of the time they already exist) and decide what happens to them.
I remember Alison Anders and this great thing she did for “Ma Vida Loca.” She was in an abusive relationship with John Taylor (the good-looking bassist from Duran Duran) some time back, and for her latest movie (which she wrote/directed) she made sure that the character named “El Duran” gets shot. What a great way to get rid of those nasty demons.“If I could stay with the demons you drowned Stay with the spirit I found…” – U2
First off, I don’t know where I read/heard about Allison Anders’ allegedly abusive relationship with John Taylor. I could swear I read in a magazine that Taylor was (allegedly, trigger-happy lawyers, ALLEGEDLY) physically violent toward Anders, but I can’t find any information to back that up today. Also, the Duran Duran bassist contributed to the Ma Vida Loca soundtrack, which would support the fact that they remained friends after breaking up. So let’s assume that this is the filmmaker dealing with a broken heart. What a brilliant and harmless way to get revenge on the man who hurt you. To this day I admire Anders for finding such a creative way to get back at her ex and channel any negative feelings into artistic expression. It’s a story that resonated with me when I first heard about it and still does to this day.
Which refers back to my grandiose statement in the journal entry of writer-as-god-like-figure. It’s meant with no offense to any religious folks, because it’s not meant to challenge any deities you may believe in. It’s not a statement about the world we live in, but the realm created in fiction. Any creative person serves as grand master to the work they create. Whether it’s words, images, sounds, or a combination of one or more of these elements, the world remains in darkness until you say, “let there be light.”
Of course, as an angst-ridden teen, I often liked to keep my characters in the dark (still do, to a lesser-extent). In my fiction, I tended to curate a collection of tortured souls and would-be saviors. And names were often imbued with some kind of symbolism, because that’s how I roll (pretentiously). Nina was no exception. See if you could guess where the name could possibly come from (I’ll give you a hint: Trent Reznor). Get it, Nine Inch Nails–>NIN–>Nina? I know, I know. I was hardly treading the sort of artistic ground Allison Anders was with her films. But I was still finding my footing as a writer, even as I grew heady on the freedom the blank page offered me. I didn’t want to spill my guts in a journal, so I saved it for my stories (and later on, my poetry). I felt like I could say just about anything in the guise of fiction. All that insecurity and frustration and anger and horrible pent-up feelings of being marginalized, outcast, all of it finally had somewhere to go, by way of numerous fictional voices that said the things I couldn’t.
Some stories would be better than others, some more thinly-veiled than others. But it was cheaper than therapy and did me a hell of a lot of good.
And even today, I employ Anders’ “El Duran” method. For me revenge isn’t a dish best served cold, it’s best served on paper.