Read the prologue and first chapter of KORSAKOFF BLIGHT by Eddie Wright.
I want to be good now. I want to be right now. I want to be happy now. Happiness can play if you let it into the yard. Mine’s grounded. Mine said “fuck” and I washed its mouth out with soap and it’s in its room. I want to let the happiness out but the happiness needs to learn to stop being such a smart-ass. There’s peace in me. There’s real in me. There’s life in me. I think of these things and that means these things are there. If they weren’t there, then I wouldn’t think of them. I wouldn’t even know what they are. Misery is worthless and that’s the new way to think. That’s the right way to think. That’s the way I want to live. That’s the way I’m going to live.
Okay. That’s done. I’m happy. I’m a different person now. I’m good now. I’m right now. Right now, I’m right now.
It feels great.
It feels really great. I’m smiling and good and people want to love me. People want me to love them. I want to love and be loved and love love. Loving lovebugs are crawling all over my face and climbing into my nose and walking on my eyeball like a starving African kid. I want to feed that kid. I want that kid to be fat and healthy and I want to eat him. I’m starving for good. Doing good would be good and I want to eat the good. I want to eat the right. I want to eat the peace. I want to eat the optimism and puke the pessimism. I want to shit negativity. I want to cleanse. I want to be clean. I want to drink some of that dumb juice and cleanse myself and purge myself and be a wispy, frothy, hollow dream, floating on a cloud of smiles.
Oh, I’m good and it feels good.
I feel so good.
I feel so right.
I feel peace.
I feel righteous.
I feel God coursing through veins.
God is in my balls.
God is in my ass.
God is down my throat.
God is hugging me and it’s beautiful and I’m kissing Him with tongue. I’m sucking on His beard. He’s dipped His beard in glory and I’m sucking it from the hair. The hair is stuck in my teeth but I love it. I’m yanking each one out and swallowing it down and loving my belly and loving the love and loving digestion and digesting love.
Oh God’s love is good.
God’s love is great.
God’s love is love with a capital LOVE.
Hearts beating. Hearts pounding. Hearts shattering and growing into new hearts and those hearts shattering and growing into new hearts and shattering and growing and shattering and growing until the strongest most excellent heart has grown and enveloped my face and my face is a giant beating heart squirting juices of love all over everyone I see. They’ll hate it at first but then they’ll love it. They’ll run through the streets puking love into the gutters and the gutters will run with love and wash into the sea and love waves will crash into the shore and the sand and the earth and the cycle of life will be infected with love and love will rain upon us and it will all be because of me and everyone will love me and everyone will thank me and everyone will be my friend and I will be the change. The force of change and the good and the right and the peace. I will be that force. I will be the angel. I will be the prophet. I will be the justice. I will be the law. I will be the love.
I am the love.
I am the peace.
I am the right.
I am the good.
My name is Korsakoff Blight and this is not my story.
The Confabulous Existence of Korsakoff Blight
Sometimes I listen to music and pretend that the person singing is me and I'm allowing someone to hear my new demo tape that I made using some program on my computer. I still call it a demo “tape” despite it being a demo “1s and 0s” because that makes me seem like an authentic, old school artist who knows something about recording nonsense prior to the 21st century. I also tell myself/them that I played all the instruments except the drums. I do this because I'm happy to admit that I don't know how to play the drums and I wouldn’t want to misrepresent myself. I tell them/me that I programmed the drums. I don't know how to program drums either. I don't know how to play any instruments at all. I don't know how to write songs. I don't want to know how to write songs but I wish I knew how to write songs and I wish I could record them using some program on my computer and I could let people hear them. I could record videos of me singing heartfelt renditions of my garbage tunes and upload them to the Internet and people that I don't know or care about will virtually pat me on the back and I will feel good and feel afraid of releasing the next song because people liked the first song and I'll feel arrogant and cocky and full of shit because 10 people told me that I'm a good songwriter and 10 people love me and need me and want me and care about me. And then I'll put up the new song and no one will respond and no one will care and those 10 people will no longer like me and I won't like me.
I already don't like me.
I can’t make art.
That's why this is not art.
This is me being me as not being me so I can be a better me.
Does that make sense?
This is bullshit.
This is stupid.
This is me.
We’re here now.
And my mother knocks on my door.
“Korsakoff?” she calls.
“What is it?” I say.
“Can you open this please?”
My dresser is barricading the door. I'm writing and I'm drinking and it's my room and it's my time and I don't want any visitors.
“What do you want?” I ask.
“It’s important, Korsakoff. I need to tell you something.”
I pause for a several seconds and think. I feel anxious. I feel strange. I feel annoyed.
“Now!” she yells.
A few years ago, I published my first book, The Psycho Killer Down the Street. It's a series of short stories about a kid who fights a psycho killer down his street and eventually goes to Hell and fights Satan. I actually wrote the stories when I was in the third grade. I found them in a box in the attic of the house I live in with my mother. I found them and read them and liked them. They were pretty good (especially for a third grader) and I remember my teacher, Mr. Biggsman liked them back in 1989. He said I had promise. He said it I had “it.” He said I was the coolest.
Mr. Biggsman was a good person. He’s probably dead now.
So I decided to type them into a computer program, print them, staple them, and send them away in manilla envelopes to have them professionally published. But when I sent the “book” to publishers and agents and people in suits and sweaters with offices, I got nicely typed letters like this:
Dear Mr. Blight,
We would love to publish your book, The Psycho Killer Down the Street, but unfortunately we can't, because simply speaking, it is not very good. We have a very strict policy of not publishing poopy books, and your book is a super-poopy, poopy book. Honestly, after reading it, we hate you, Mr. Blight. We hate you with the fury a hundred, million fires and we hope you die. So go ahead and do that please, Mr. Blight. Okay? Die, Mr. Blight. Die! Die! Die!
Here is a list of other things we hate, besides your book, just in case you were wondering (in no particular order, of course):
5. Keanu Reeves movies
Now go fucking die.
Best of luck in any and all future endeavors. Dickhead.
So I used this website that lets people upload their writing using super sophisticated machines. Then you can sell your books through the Internet to losers with dumb taste. It's called self-publishing. So now I'm a published author and it feels good. According to my Internet stats, I sold a book to a stranger and everything. His username was BELUGAWHALE69. I've thought about looking him up.
And I've been working on a second book (well, I guess it's technically a first book since I wrote that other one when I was 9, and I didn’t even know it was a book when I was writing it, but whatever). Something keeps holding me back, though. I want my second book to be a detective story and I want it to feature a confident detective and I want him to investigate a murder or a disappearance or something like that. I want the main character to be relaxed and calm and cool and collected and strong and real and clever and quippy. I want this to happen because there's something in me that needs that. But something is stuck in me and it's blocking that thing I need. And I can't get that something unstuck. I think that something that's stuck is something bad. Fucking bad things are stuck in me and they won't get out of my face. The bad things are in my face and I want them out of my face. Fuck fucking bad things, please. Fuck them gently into the dark. I think this may be writer's block but I don't know what writer's block feels like. Does it feel like constipation in your face? Does it feel like bad things? If it does, I think I've got it. Bad things create things that are the opposite of fictional, fantasy detective men who are relaxed and calm and cool and collected and strong and real and clever and quippy. Bad things are stupid and create stupid, insecure, neurotic assholes with stupid, insecure, neurotic asshole faces.
Faces like mine.
The Psycho Killer Down the Street will be featured in its entirety within the pages of this “book.” I'll do this for two reasons. The first reason is to make it easier for you to understand who The Psycho Killer Down the Street is. The second reason is to pad out this book so it's longer and I feel like I accomplished more. If this book is big and thick then I'll feel successful and legitimate and real. Like an author. Like a real author. I'm very lazy and I don't like to think of new things to write so I'm going to repeat myself.
So here I go, repeating myself.
So here I go, repeating myself.
"Korsakoff Blight, OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR!" Mom yells.
I sigh and screw the cap on my bottle of Lonely Sparrow Whiskey and jam it in a drawer and leave my desk and push the dresser to the side and unlock the dead bolt and open the door.
"WHAT!" I shout.
My mother's eyes are full of tears as she tells me that my father is dead. She wraps her arms around me. My hands remain at my sides.
“Your father hated sitcoms," she says.
I tug at my pants until I can feel the moisture developing on my palms.
“Your father hated pork chops.”
My father was a man who used to live with me and my mother. His name was Korsakoff Blight too. So I’m a junior. He used to be a cop but he retired. Not sure why. Never bothered to ask. But it was before I was born. He popped a lot of pills and spent a lot of time locked in his room working on his “projects”. God knows what those “projects” where. But when we did see him he would yell and scream and throw all the pots and pans and plates and bowls on the floor. He would push hot spaghetti in mom’s face if she asked too many questions during dinner. He would break her nose if she disagreed about a TV show. And he would throw all of her clothes onto the front lawn if she took too long at the grocery store.
He was a bully and he was a brute. And while he never touched me, he destroyed mom in ways that I’ll never know. He wasn’t good, and it’s as simple as that.
Then he left us.
And I hadn't seen him or thought about him for years. Certain things would remind me of him though. Certain smells, certain sounds, certain stories. Those reminded me of the good things. While few and far between, there were some. There was playing in the backyard, hiking in the woods, baseball games on the couch. Things like that. Those things were good. But the good inevitably reminded me of the bad. The insanity, the pills, the violence, the ugly.
He liked pills. He liked violence. He liked ugly.
He wasn’t an okay guy.
Mom tells me to put on my suit. I don't do a very good job of tying the tie. I try several times but it keeps ending up too short. I sigh and button my jacket to cover it.
We get in the car and drive to the funeral. There are a lot of people there — mostly family, a few strangers too. It's an uncomfortable situation because people keep coming up to me and hugging me and shaking my hand and kissing me and telling me how sorry they are.
They're sorry. They're sorry. They're sorry. They're sorry.
I don't know. But one man in the back of the room keeps staring at me. Like he knows me. Like he feels me. Like he's got something to say to me. He looks about 50-something. He's balding, chubby, has a mustache, and looks like a schlub. He's wearing sunglasses and I notice that he has food on his face. It looks like tuna. Whenever anyone eats tuna there’s always a little left over on the face. Tuna’s a food that likes to hang around. It likes to stick to the outside. It doesn’t want to be swallowed-up. If I was a food, I would be tuna.
This man is wearing a suit. But underneath the suit and pale-blue dress shirt, I notice he's wearing a Hawaiian shirt. He's wearing two button-up shirts on top of each other. That’s a strange thing to do. It also doesn’t sound very comfortable. I guess he likes to know that his freewheeling self is always around, even when it’s covered up by a monkey suit. I figure that this man is not in big business. He's not a CEO or stock market tycoon. He probably makes hamburgers. Maybe he works in a tuna factory. Maybe he paints dollhouses. Maybe he has no job. Like me.
He keeps staring and I stare back. Perhaps he knew me when I was a kid. Perhaps he's about to approach me and hand me a dollar and tell me he's my uncle who just got out of the clink and remembers me from when I was the size of a peanut and missed me and loves me even though he doesn't know me. Extended family love is weird because extended family love is fake. You love an uncle because you have to, because you feel obligated, not because you actually do. If you had a bomb shelter with only a small amount of space and enough food rations to feed three or four people I guarantee that you would leave your aunts and uncles outside to fend off the atom bombs or zombies or tornadoes or whatever. Extended family members don't get spots in bomb shelters. It's a fact.
As I wait in line to look at the body I realize that I'm behind the man. He doesn't acknowledge me. I figure this would be prime time for him to talk to me and tell me all about how when I was little he took me hunting and I killed an elephant and how we ate tusk until we puked. Or I thought maybe he’d tell me about the time when I was two and he gave me beer and I got drunk and drove a car into a pool. But no. I'm wrong. There's nothing from Uncle Double-Shirt. No stories. No nothing.
He makes his way to the body, kneels before the casket, bows his head, and mutters a Hail Mary. He slowly raises his head, leans forward, and kisses my father on the mouth. I hear him whisper something but can't make out the words. He makes the sign of the cross, rises by bracing himself on the edge of the box, and creakily walks away. I approach my dead dad, take a knee and stare. His hands are laid on top of one another and his suit is very clean and nicely pressed. As I look closer at his waxy face, I notice something in the corner of his mouth – tuna. The man has left a piece of tuna on my father’s face. I quickly look for him and my eyes lock with his shades as he stands calmly in the corner. After a second or two of solid staring he nods. I return the nod and he turns. He walks out of the funeral home. I take one more look at my father, get to my feet, and follow the man outside.