Telling Stories for No One

toys

I don’t know that I’ve always been a writer, but I’ve definitely always been interested in storytelling. Being raised as a shut in had certain advantages for creativity. I had plenty of cool toys and to properly entertain myself, I had to make up stuff for them to do.

My playground was a stuffy room in the back of my grandmother’s house. There was nothing in it except a grotesquely baroque king sized heart shaped bed. The gilded headboard formed the double humps of the heart’s top and the blanket was custom made so the point was strong. This thing was made for cocaine.

atat
This what an AT-AT would look like if left in West Oakland

Frequently I’d set up these gigantic armies made up of robots and humans. Pretty much any G.I. Joe or Star Wars figures with a mask was cooler, likely a robot, and on the side that would win. My accent as a child was unintelligibly Southern. I pronounced “robot” as “roebucks” and called “lightsabers” “lightsavers.” I was a total rube. The less cool human characters would usually try to storm the bases of the robots in order to “mess their stuff up.” My robot republic required regimented living quarters and did not cotton to the incursions of a confederacy of the flesh toned and untidy. I imagine this early robot fandom has something to do with my ambivalence towards the myriad evils of the Bay Area’s tech overlords.

The robots always got the headquarters play-sets, but the humans always got the vehicles. It’s not like they were going to walk up to their enemies. Even as a little kid, I knew the villain had to be a credible threat for the story to be interesting. Many times I would kill off my favorite characters to make the story sadder or crazier. I was like a little George R.R. Martin.

snake
Did we just become best friends? 

 

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