Searching For A Little Authenticity

Les Marcott

Scene4 Magazine — inSight - perspectives on arts and media
writings: monologues

May 2012

Here I was…nickel and diming it…living out of my shitty trashmobile – a rusted 1976 Buick Skylark with a hundred million miles on it.  I found myself on the streets hustling and bustling, muscling my way through the bars, dives, and assorted flop houses on the downward side of town.  I made a lot of friends out on those streets.  They mentored me…not the way a professor mentors a college student.  No, it wasn't some academic exercise.  It was an exercise in survival.  Exercises like what street corner to panhandle at, what your cardboard sign should say, what dumpsters are the best for diving and most importantly where the cheap liquor can be found.  Gench, this old carny and fellow street wanderer was one such mentor. Once he had me hold up a sign that read: MY CAT NEEDS A HERNIA OPERATION! PLEASE HELP!!  It was a rather well to do neighborhood.  Gench told me people are suckers for hurt and sick animals – the more bizarre the illness, the more moolah in your pocket.  They don't give a damn about your plight, but distressed cats are another matter.  And he was right, that day I raked in over two grand.  Of course Gench took half for his "advisory role".  I'm thankful for so many lessons I learned.  Like the first guy who broke my nose…he taught me how to duck. The second guy who broke my nose taught me I wasn't ducking fast enough.  But what I found out I really had a knack for was writing.  And what did I write about?  The street scene of course.  I would keep these little notebooks and scraps of paper and stuff them in the trashmobile.  Then one day, some reporter from the newspaper decided to nose his way through our little piece of heaven.  I showed him some of my writing.  The next thing you know, I'm being featured in a major article.  The publishing world becomes interested.  I get signed to a major book deal.  And before you know it, I'm the next fucking Charles Bukowski. My shitty Buick becomes a Cadillac Escalade.  I'm living in a gated community.  I hire a pool boy.  I hire a landscaping crew to mow my lawn and trim the hedges just so.  I get myself a rock star girlfriend because my agent said that's what people in my position do.  But when I would visit my old stomping grounds, I could sense the animosity. I wasn't "authentic" anymore.  I could hear the whispers…"sellout".  Gench wouldn't talk to me anymore.  I had that off- putting smell of success.  I just wasn't welcomed there anymore.  Now I write about rich people and their problems. But every now and then…when I see a cardboard sign…I dream about the old days.

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©2012 Les Marcott
©2012 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Les Marcott is a songwriter, musician, performer and a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4. His latest book of monologues, stories and short plays, Character Flaws, is published by AviarPress.
For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives
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May 2012

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