I had my second real conversation with TC Boyle today. We talked for almost an hour. Some of things I learned from this transmission:
1. He's reading at the New Yorker Festival next week + he's not going to bring his laptop. In fact, he never brings his laptop with him when he's on tour or giving a reading at a festival/conference. The only thing he brings are manuscripts, books he's reading for research + lots of clean underwear. For a second I thought he was telling me he's incontinent, but then I realized he just brings the important stuff. So let me repeat: manuscripts, books + underwear. Now that's a real author
2. He doesn't watch TV. Like me, he'll watch a movie on the Movie Classics Channel, an action flick at the theater or a DVD (because movies have a beginning + an end) but he pretty much avoids TV at all costs
3. He hates his cell phone. He never answers it.
--Let them call my agent, he said.
In fact, he told me he only brings his cell phone for emergencies
4. It's impossible to say something original to him. I mean, I've tried + it's just impossible. There's nothing this guy hasn't already heard, thought of or written + that really fucks with your mind after awhile. I find myself wanting to use more and more hip-hop slang because that's one of the only areas where I'm gonna represent.
--Yo TC, I'll say, let's throw up a burner on Hollywood + Vine that disses the alphabet bois. Maybe then we'll meet a bunch of bustdowns, ballas + buttafaces!
His response: neck-scratching + some mystified silence. And then I'd say: um.
I mean, there's shit I'm just figuring out that he's known for thirty years + I'm gonna have to try very hard not to try to impress him because you know what? It's just not happening. I can bring delight + intelligence + personal charm + lots of love to a conversation, but with TC Boyle (+ Aimee Bender, for that matter), you're not going to impress these people. That's their job, that's what they do effortlessly + they do it way better than you + they do it because they're not trying to impress you. They're being real, you're not. Ah, stupid defense mechanism. . .
If you want to read the rest of this entry, you can find it on my literary blog, Blue Mosaic Me.