My brother was hit by a moped three years ago. It ran right
over his face and took his nose with it. He has a hole for a mouth and a tire
track running from the left side of his forehead to the right side of his chin.
And then there’s this:
Yesterday, I asked my brother if he’d ever seen Sons of the Desert, a Laurel and Hardy movie.
“No,” he said.And
then he paused.“Wait, are you talking
about me or Arnold Schwarzenegger?”
“You”, I said.
“Oh, okay.No, I
“Have you seen any
Laurel and Hardy movies?”
“I think so…wait, me or Arnold Schwarzenegger?”
And so on.
Every time I ask him a question about his personal history,
his favorite ice cream flavor, his shoe size, anything, he always has to
clarify whether I’m asking him or Arnold Schwarzenegger.Which is not to say he thinks he IS Arnold Schwarzenegger.He still signs his rent checks with his given
name.And he still introduces himself as
Auggie to new acquaintances, as long as his name isn’t solicited.If it is, well:
“And you are?”
“Me or ArnoldSchwarzenegger?”
I’ve asked him numerous times if he was aware of his own
peculiarity.And in each instance, he’d
ask me if I meant him or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I mean you,” I said, the first time we had this
conversation, about a week after he returned from the hospital, “I always mean
you when I ask a question about you.”
“So why do you have to ask if I’m talking to you or Arnold Schwarzenegger?He’s not here.He’s never been here, nor will he ever be
here.Neither of us know him, and no one
we know knows him.He’s a former movie
star and the former governor of California.”
“I know who he is,
And he stormed out of the room.
We spoke again at breakfast the next morning.I waited for him to sit down and pour milk
into his bowl of Mini-Wheats.Then I
asked him to pass the carton.
Here's a sample spread from my *nearly* complete book dummy, Louis, Don't!, which shows a typical interaction between Louis and myself (both in the book and in reality). Just a couple more pages, and it'll be publisher-bound!
Here are some character sketches (a rocket is a character, right?) from a book I'm making, called Louis, Don't! It stars my son, Louis, in the lead role, and myself, not pictured, in a supporting turn. And an alien. And space fruit. Don't worry, it'll all make sense.
In today's episode of Putting the Cart Before the Horse, watch a work-in-progress trailer for a book that has yet to be sold, Baby Walks, written by Dan Richards, and illustrated by me. Idle hands and all that.
It's semi-official! Assuming my contract doesn't explode in the mail, my next book as an author/illustrator (and my third with the incomparable Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster) is The Greedy Worm. It's about a greedy worm. There, now you don't have to read the book. But please do. I shouldn't have said that.