A month ago, I did the first interview for my book, for a radio show. The interview was taped so that the producers could take some time off for the summer and then have it ready to go for the Fall when the book is actually out. Before losing my interviewginity, I wanted to prepare and I figured I should come up with a response to the question, “Describe your book.” Everybody told me I should have this ready and that it should be two to three sentences long. I was somewhat reluctant to do this. How to describe 65,000 words written over the course of five years? But it seemed like a good exercise nonetheless.
So anyway, a couple days before the interview, I happened into some pot.
So, I wrote this while high:
“I learned so much from my parents — wisdom and tools for life. But for some reason, I also needed to challenge this wisdom and the usefulness of the tools to my own life. In the book, I did this two ways: One was to go over some of the key events in my life, playing with skeptical sarcasm to test out each one. And then I’d choose: do I believe this earnestly or is it a joke to me, just a revealing of the absurd nature of existence? I’ve found that it’s both. And thus, this combination is the alchemical recipe of my own tools, the ones that I may one day pass down; the second way was by exploring the teachings that most profoundly impacted my parents and influenced their parenting practices to see if I felt they’d interpreted them correctly. Also, because I still quite like a lot of the lessons I was passed down through my parents, I wanted to learn more. Maybe I even wanted to attempt to surpass their wisdom, to be more conscious.”
Sober analysis: When I wrote it, I remember feeling that I was having an earth-shatteringly profound revelation about my motivations. (In other words, I was high). But even now, I think it is something of a lucid insight into my writing process, which I wasn’t even conscious of while it was happening. Certainly, it’s a very dry, analytical description of that process, appropriate perhaps since I am the son of analysts.
My favorite part, though, is the rather Oedipal ending, the desire to become more “conscious” than my parents, to beat or surpass them at their own game and thus fulfill the metaphorical slaying of the father. Pot used to make me paranoid, but apparently, in this instance, it made me ambitiously self-righteous. It reminds me, in fact, of the way I used to feel when I’d get high as a teenager and would write in my journal about everything that was wrong with “society”. In any case, I’m not sure it really describes the final product as much as it functions as a justification, or an explanation, for the writing of the book itself. I doubt that it’ll ever end up on the radio. Unless I get high before the next interview, of course.