One thing leads to another and I find myself this week transcribing and scanning manuscripts of my very early writing. There was a time, 1984 and thereabouts, when I thought I might write plays, or fiction, or something. Other than journals and fragments, what has survived is 1) a play called Helicopters Landing, which I would call the opus of my great early 20s disillusionment of love. At the time I abandoned it, I was preparing to make it a film, so the draft that survives has vestiges of its life as a play along with notes about shots and camera angles, etc. I left it behind, and my writing aspirations when I started to play in bands and learn to write songs. And 2) a handful of stories I was writing for pornography magazines, when porn was in magazines and they published erotic fiction. I think my scheme was that I would make a living at it — along with the manuscripts are letters from publishers with submission guidelines — but, at $100 a story, to pay the rent I would have had to work very much faster than I did. I put a lot of effort into this project but then abandoned it also. I got bogged down in revisions and re-typing and just couldn’t keep organized. This was 1991. I’m sure somebody somewhere had a little MacIntosh, but all I had was a manual typewriter. It was a beautiful machine and I love the look of the old typewritten pages, but every time you wanted to add a comma, you had to retype the whole fucking page.
Both the play and the story are saturated with my sense of my life, of myself, my aspirations and surroundings. Me. And for the most part, they are successful, as far as they go. They still do what I wanted them to do, have the same effect now as I thought they did then. Even the porn stories have an emotional atmosphere, a sense of complex interior lives, that I still try to bring to everything I create.
Soon, I’m going to add a section to my web site, an archive of old work, but for now, here are the first couple of pages of Helicopters Landing. Actually, it’s short, I’ll just upload the whole thing. Why not?