I’ve been working on some new GRITT CALHOON. Sometimes it’s the only thing keeping me going: knowing that I can always sit down and write another Gritt tale. For years I’ve been dreaming up
IN THE GROUND
. . . but why haven’t I finished it? I don’t know. I have this horrible problem where if something isn’t perfect, I can’t do anything with it. (Please forgive the irony of this statement, what with my entire website being a black hole of abject stupidity.) Though yes, I think this story is pretty good. But I got to wrap it up and publish it!
For now, here is some Gritt I’ve been chipping away at:
“‘Nother adventure?” thought Gritt. “Shit, I’m game. Hope they got some hot-ass chicks down there in the North Pole. Though hell, I reckon Santa Claus done claimed all them babes for himself by this point. That fuckin dog, I swear.”
”Wastin away again in Turdaritavilla,” said Gritt. He spread out his beautiful sun-ripened arms in ecstasy. “Lookin fer my lost shaker’a blow. Hoo-ee! Shit.”
Gritt reached into his microfiber boxer briefs and took out an old Lincoln Log. The sides were worn and notched. He smiled, thinking about the Christmases of long ago—the ones he’d spent with his son.
“Andy loved these fuckin things,” he thought, spinning the Lincoln Log between his chunky fingers. “Always looked like god dang dog turds to me, but hell, that’s kids fer ya. . . .”
Gritt emotionlessly recalled a memory from many years before when, in front of a school bus full of Andy’s classmates, he’d had to mercy kill a reindeer with a brick.
“This whole world is built upon dog turds and held together with duct-tape and chewin gum!” Gritt howled into the godless sky. He beat his lordly chest like a taiko drum.
“O Death!” said Gritt. “As I have pledged fealty to thy barbarous sword, and have grimly served thy dark agenda, I say unto yew now: Comfort my weary fuckin soul!”
Gritt’s booming voice ruptured his colonoscopy bag.
“And as fer yew, the wicked and the unjust, a public service announcement: Zip up yer diapers and batten down them fuckin hatches, ‘cuz Gritt Calhoon’s comin fer ya! And baby, all he wants ta dew is git good’n greasy and snort a few hot trails of white thunder till it all goes dark. . . .”
Gritt punched the dead Austrian man in the face. He marched down to the shore and followed the tidemark for miles, collecting seashells and sand dollars here and there, all the while hoping he’d stumble upon a sailor just crazy enough to take him to a cocaine factory in the arctic wastes at the end of the world.
And what about BIG-ASS HOLE IN THE GROUND? Well: Gritt is sailing through space in a small one-man ship. He’s asleep with a heroin needle sticking out of his arm and he’s got gospel music and hardcore pornography playing simultaneously out of his speakers. An alarm goes off in the cockpit saying he’s running out of fuel. That and he’s hungry and he’s got to take a dump. He punches the navi-computer until it spits out coordinates to a nearby outpost, which happens to be on an asteroid that has weak gravity and a sort of doughy / marshmallow-y surface. Gritt lands. The place is a backwater shit town. While gassing up his ship and eating a 50¢ hot dog, he spies a Waffle House. He decides to use their facilities and then eat. Afterwards, he goes out back to smoke a joint. As it happens, a massive sinkhole opens up on the dark horizon, way the hell out there. Gritt, ever curious, bounces across the soft surface of the marshmallow asteroid until he gets to the sinkhole. He looks inside. Curious still, he jumps in. And what does he find down there? I ain’t tellin!!
It’s coming, this thing . . . I promise. I feel lousy all the time because I’m not writing as much as I want to be. Though I think anyone who has ever written anything would say the same. You spend a lot of time thinking about writing, and then you sit down and maybe get a good thirty of forty minutes out of it if you’re lucky. What a waste. I have so many ideas for stories squirreled away in a text file that I add to pretty much every day. And yet I don’t end up doing anything with these ideas.
Like years and years ago I had this idea for a short story or a novella where the biggest rock band in the world intentionally incites a riot at one of their massive stadium shows where hundreds of millions of people are in attendance. And in doing so, the crowd ends up trampling their own, thousands of them dead, which causes like a trillion dollars worth of damage to the stadium and the surrounding area. They go to court. The judge garnishes their wages to pay for all the damage they caused. He sentences them to tour the world for the rest of their lives. The story begins with them as dying old men. They’re in their nineties and still playing sold-out shows wearing oxygen masks and in wheelchairs and shit. Their bassist had a massive heart attack on stage the year before, so their new bassist is a robot. They all want to die, even the robot, as they haven’t even hit the halfway mark on the money owed. So as a last-ditch effort to escape their fate, they decide to put on a massive show on top of Mount Everest, which is to be attended by world leaders and A-list celebrities, and so on. Yeah! I don’t know, man. Why haven’t I written this? I think that’s a good idea for a story.
This is going to sound dumber than hell, but it’s true: It is a good feeling to know that Gritt exists. I don’t know what I’d do without him, and I suppose he will be with me for the rest of my life. Sometimes I’ll have a dream about what he and Shark are getting up to out there. And I really did see first see Gritt in a dream. I woke up and wrote about what I had seen. That’s where the first Gritt yarn came from . . . it landed in my brain fully formed. All I had to do was write it down. Sometimes it just happens that way, though it doesn’t happen often.
Incidentally, my friend McCune wrote two Gritt stories years ago. They’re really good. I should put them on this here website, because currently they are nowhere! That was my intention for Gritt stories: that any writer could sit down and create their own adventure using a shared mythos, sort of like a comic book character. McCune did a hell of a job at that. I really wish someone else would do this too. . . .
I got to write. I just got to. I really beat myself up over it, cuz I miss being able to say that I’ve finished something. What the hell else is the point to all of this, if yew ain’t makin shit? I don’t know.
OK . . . time to jump back into this big-ass hole in the ground and see what’s what. I hope at least a handful of you buy this thing when it goes up so that I can maybe pay half of my electric bill for one month. Hah!!