Not So Instant Karma

Every man’s memory is his private literature.  ~ Aldous Huxley

Hmmmm … I guess I made my private literature public when I cranked out The Beauregarde Affair. At least ‘those’ years. What I didn’t expect was to have that memory come ricocheting back at me like a time-traveling boomerang.

 Back-story: I have been known to do a bit of artwork now and then. So I am hooked up to several artsy-fartsy websites, one of which is called JacketFlap, a site where authors and illustrators hang out and inflate each other’s egos. Same old same old. To make a long story short (something that I am really terrible at), a month or so after The Beauregarde Affair was published, one of the ‘principles’ of the story—yeah, yeah, I know, it’s supposed to be fiction—contacted me via JacketFlap. I hadn’t heard from him since 1970-something and he didn’t know that The Beauregarde Affair had been written, much less published. Synchronicity deluxe. But it gets weirder and wilder.

 Hopefully not spoiling the story, the Affair ends with an all out, no holds barred bash. But here’s the rub (there’s always a rub); how much can we trust our memories? They are known stretchers-of-the-truth at the best of times, more often outright liars if you don’t keep an eye on them. And we are talking about the spaced-out, smoked-up 70’s. I do claim in the beginning of TBA that it’s based on a notebook, the infamous ‘Journal’. But let’s be honest, The Journal was not 155 type-written pages long. No fucking way. There was some major extrapolation going down during the writing process. So when I described the closing fin de la siècle fest, it was written as much on faith as any of my original journal entries.

 It was therefore with an uneasy sense of closure that I received from Mr. X a copy of a drawing that I myself had made—and given to him back in the day. It chronicles in pen & ink that selfsame endgame debauchery, right down to the Welshmen, Perkie mainlining the keg and man-eating dinosaurs terrorizing the backyard. I stand vindicated. The only thing that worries me is this; if that part actually happened, how much of that other stuff did, too? To quote myself; uh-oh …

(NB: click on the pictures to get a larger version)


The Party to End All Parties (Thanks Mr. X)

Thirty-four years down the line (photo courtesy of Doug Bremner)


2 responses to this post.

  1. So it’s not torn down? Or become a museum, like Mendips? Truth IS stranger than fiction.


  2. Posted by Cal Burke on 30/05/2012 at 14:38

    Perhaps “I think: therefore I am” might be more appropriate. I think…


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