New here on the blogroll–you may have seen me loitering about the comments, strewing opinion shrapnel–I wanted to introduce myself by way of a ridiculous extended metaphor and a concomitant anxiety. First the analogy: an ensemble of clothes is like a musical ensemble, guitar/bass/drums to be exact. A shirt plays lead guitar…ruffled or sequined, paisley or emblazoned with a message, it’s allowed to wander around a bit in the upper registers, bend notes, solo, show off, call attention to itself. Pants are more like the bass player–under the shirt, they anchor it, and can be inventive, but in ways that are subtler than the shirt’s inventiveness; they’re not off soloing, and are instead more functional, steady and dependable. Shoes are, as you’ve already guessed, the drums, and it’s no coincidence that they are the earthshakers, the rhythm-makers. Hats are…I don’t know. Something has to be done with hats in the analogy. Hats are saxes? Lead singers? Tsampounas?
We’ll definitely need a place for the Tsampouna in the analogy, but maybe not today. The point is…it’s an okay analogy, maybe not a great one, maybe not one that as an author you would want to assert, but one that you might put in the mouth or mind or a character, for sure. A character who is perhaps slightly alienated or somewhat absurd, obsessed with rock bands to the degree that s/he sees them everywhere, translates everything into their language, plays air guitar not just in the privacy of home but on the suspender cables of bridges. Said musicophile might try to explain to his or her significant other that music is like an outfit–might try to bridge the gulf between them by doing so, and the reader might see the gulf widening all the while.
What do you do with such thoughts–thoughts that have some validity but probably won’t hold up under scrutiny? Do you assign them to your comic characters and have fun with them? Do you try to sculpt them or rein them in until they conjoin with other thoughts and maybe become stronger? Do you put them in a document entitled, “Semi-idiotica.doc” (or now .docx)? Do you tweet ’em/blog ’em? Do you refrain from doing so because who knows, you might be less inclined, once it’s been tweeted and maybe retweeted and thrice-“liked” to find it urgent to have that character spouting off about it in what might otherwise have been a moving, tragicomic scene? I wonder whether yesteryear’s napkin-scrawl can maybe too readily be proclaimed to the whole restaurant…