gwen bell

home | blog

Writer On Writer

February 11th 2017

There's a writer named Joan Didion. I've only read one of her books, the famous one. In it she writes about her husband's death. Her husband was a writer, too, but I've never read anything he wrote. I think she was the stronger writer. At least, she's the more famous of the pair. He's dead now so there's no way he has a long and illustrious writing career ahead of him.

I brought espresso to Everett to wake him up this morning. The two of us talked about the current thingy happening amongst those of us developing on the client that powers Decent, sbot. The last dev call got heated. Everett was and to some degree still is in the crosshairs. Whether he put himself there or not is kind of the crux of the thing.

Anyway, what the whole thing brings up for me is the fact that I live with a writer. And Everett lives with a writer. So this morning I asked him if he can think of even one famous writer pair. I said Philip K. Dick, no. Kerouac, no. Hemingway, no. Cannot think of even one strong writer pair in all time and space?

Well, the two of us are a strong writer pair. And it's a challenge all the time. The right kind of challenge. His presence makes me a stronger writer. My presence makes him a stronger writer. That's been true since the two of us met in person in December 2010. I used his computer to write a piece way back then. I'd dumped an entire glass of water on my brand new laptop (the three grand variety since I could afford to pay cash for that kind of thing back then). I used I think it was WriteRoom to write the piece.

The keys sounded different than mine did. The screen looked different. The characters on the screen were green! The background was black. I wrote in a different way. All that and all I was doing was using his keyboard instead of mine!

So yeah I got a little pissed yesterday when someone in the conversation conflated Everett and me as though we are one person. To extend on something a student from Japan, from way back in the day said: this is my me.

That's his him.

He's going to say things I wouldn't dream of saying. I'm going to phrase things in ways he never would. You can tell when you're reading his writing. If I started posting to his blog if something ever happened to him, you'd know it was me even if I didn't sign off as such. Which, for the record, I would. Sign off as myself that is. You already know that though because that's how I roll.

Why don't more writers hang out with other writers (in bed). Probably because it's an intense situation. I can, when pushed or if I must, verbally eviscerate. I don't want to have to. And it's an infrequent thing. And I'm aware that he can do the same.

The other thing about living with a writer is everything looks like fodder for a future story. For a future piece. For a future character. Whatever. So you're of course experiencing the moment and all that but what's more is you might be experiencing the moment in a more intense way than people who don't write. Why? Because if you experience it in a fresh way, if you see it for the first time even though technically you've walked this stretch of Insurgentes three thousand or more times, then you might see something you've never seen before. For instance, this happened the other day.

I saw a blind man leading a blind woman around the corner on the street. Both people had walking sticks. And I started paging through my memory about that proverb how when the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch.

I mentioned it to Everett. Then I wanted to be sure I knew which proverb it was and whether I'd said the accurate version of the phrase. It's not ditch, it's pit. But still, you have to wonder how that pair can make it around a city of millions of people and moving vehicles without ending up in precarious situations.

When MilthreeS was here last week or something he was all, 'you guys are could put a camera right there and record everything you're saying and doing and people would watch that! You keep so much hidden!' And both Everett and myself were all: this is interesting to you? Because this is just normal life. Neither of us sense that we're hiding things. From my perspective I have a pretty boring life in which all I do is code, write, learn, speak Spanish, eat decent food and write some more. There's no big hidden agenda.

There's a public agenda: earn enough money to live a decent life. But I think I'm pretty public about that.

What do you want to know about how it is to be a writer living with a writer? He's sitting next to me responding to some comments with Minbay the sbot client. I'm working on this piece. The both of us are drinking espresso out of tiny cups. The only thing funny about this picture is a jar of what he calls coco-tron on the floor to my left. Oh, that's a weird thing. The bedframe is against the wall, the bed is on the floor. And we're both on the bed under a bunch of covers. I prefer to sleep this close to the floor, he prefers to sleep this close to the floor. That might be odd to some people.

The coco-tron is because I tried to convince him it would be a good idea to use keratin in my hair because it'd make it smooth and shiny according to the adverts I've seen. He was all, why not coconut oil. And then when I agreed and the two of us got some he started calling it coco-tron because it sounds kind of like keratin.

By the way, the coco-tron is awesome and when applied to skin is faster absorbing than olive oil. It's not a fancy thing and you can get it cheap here (75 pesos) but probably a hair stylist would have a fit if she saw the tattered ends of my hair (no hair cut since December 2015 since the best hair stylist I know lives in Texas now).

Writers on writers. What else can I say. If you ever date a writer you might want to know that in at least the case of the two of us, silence is a good thing. Cleanliness helps. Minimalism is a way of life not just a passing fancy. Things are often serious. Often quiet. Sometimes frustrating. Usually either broke or on the verge of being broke.

Always full of love.

Each of us knows how lucky the other is to be in his/her life.

Comment on Decent.

Divorce ➡

⬅ Open Tabs, Upside Down & Inside Out

I build this site with Node.js on an Arch Linux box · send a message via email or even better on decent · 2017