I Have Seen the Future, Baby: It Is Nowhere


Three minutes to midnight. My name is Cory Frye. I’m 36 years old. Black-brown hair stubbornly fading to gray. Half-assed beard flecked with careless white. I stand 5-foot-7, though I might tell you 5-foot-9 if asked. (Fuck ya gonna do, measure me?) I have exactly $29.74 in my wallet, $9.74 of which is mostly quarters for laundry. The smaller coins — the ones that make your fingers stink — will be transferred to one of two “emergency” containers on my kitchen counter, both of which are too heavy to be moved with one hand.

Right now I’m upstairs in what my friends have affectionately christened “The Man Room.” It’s loaded with my accumulated juvenalia: action figures, CDs, records, unframed posters (push pins — the bachelor’s adhesive), and stereo. With its lack of furniture, there’s plenty of space to stretch out. I’m in my favorite writing position: on my stomach, head on raised pillow, fingers scratching drivel onto lined paper in a cheap spiral notebook with my favorite instrument, a Uni-Ball Vision Exact. You can hear the words as they swoop across a page. Speaking of instruments, on the stereo: Miles Davis’ Filles de Kiliminjaro, “Tout de Suite.” (Hey, I used that exact phrase recently! Kindred spirits, Miles and me!) I borrowed it this afternoon from the uptown library. It plays at Volume 3, max sound, but not so max it disturbs the neighb0rs.

Because I’m a generally nice fella, I won’t bore you with my biography. The short of it is this: I’m a writer, and I’ve been a writer so long I can’t remember when I wasn’t. My life’s been interrupted by the occasional career, but I always come back to my first true love: tip to pulp, mind to claws, an intimate symphony. That I can make a living at it thrills and astounds me to no end. Like most writers, I logged a trillion nights in my youth doing exactly what I’m doing now for sheer karmic pleasure.

And as technology continues fucking with this craft to which I’ve devoted my life, I hear the futurists (i.e., marketers) cluck about brands as they apply to writing in the New Age. This is what they live for. They love blathering about brands and content and consumers and barking that tired-ass “thinking outside the box” (without realizing that equating imagination to something tangible, thereby giving it a structure with limits, means you’ve already failed) banality while using specific data to stuff us into a shitload of ’em. According to them, the future of writing and of journalism is to pander to an all-powerful “audience” to “drive” a successful “brand.”

Consider me, then, a holdout. A hopelessly doomed throwback.

My name is Cory Frye.

I’m not a brand.

I’m a person.

This is not my content.

These are my collected thoughts, dreams, fears, stories, shortcomings, hopes, contradictions, wounds, and blisters, upchucked from an impulsive soul attached to a beating heart.

I cannot consider you consumers.

You are readers.

Individuals.

People.

If you like my blog, swell.

If you don’t, I won’t lose any sleep.

I ain’t surrendering my humanity for hit counts.

Brand?

That’s for livestock, motherfuckers.

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