20 June 2005

An Excerpt

I worked on the Vernon story a bit this weekend, mostly on the introduction. I'm taking the approach of someone who met him and felt the need to retell his story. Here's an excerpt from my opening statement:

The first time I met Vernon, he cowered out of the bathroom stall at Exit 20’s rest stop, jostling a black Sharpie into his ratted wool cardigan. I never figured him as a vandal, but one day I read he had been arrested in a bathroom at a freeway rest stop. Apparently, Vernon claimed he was just fixing the grammar.

“Fact is,” Vernon said, “I can’t handle to see poor penmanship and massacre of poetics. Write the stuff down on paper, mess with it slightly, and you get poetry…but, not poetry with a capital ‘P’.”

These were the only words he spoke at his trial, at which point Judge HonarĂ© sentenced him to 300 hours community service. The newspaper printed another article about the curmudgeon when he was arrested for offering classes on toilet stall grammar to families while painting over the offending marks. Well, at least as long as the whole thing lasted, which was about three weeks. One family thought he was some psycho killer trying to lure them to Dangerland, called the cops, and Judge assigned him a supervisor the rest of the summer. That’s where I return, as a civilian.

I admit it; Vernon should have walked free. Now he’s dead, and he left me with the task of telling his story, the task of sharing his message: “Mistakes glare from the page if penmanship shines.”

1 comment:

Luke Skywalker said...

It's great to see the idea put into words! Looks like it will be a good one.