The room was brightly lit for a dinner party and conversational pairs formed in the most awkward fashion.
Having grown tired of being the nearly silent third member of a discussion to my left, I met the eye of an acquaintance
across the table on my right. He was similarly unengaged and we began to shout to one another across the diagonal
expanse that lay between us.
He began, "DID YOU END UP GETTING THAT APPLICATION IN?"
"NO. I AM SO BAD ABOUT THAT KIND OF THING. DID YOU?" I ask.
"ME NEITHER. I ALWAYS PROCRASTINATE WITH ANYTHING THAT INVOLVES WRITING."
"I DON'T MIND WRITING. I MEAN, I KIND OF CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A WRITER.
BUT I HATE WRITING ARTIST STATEMENTS. I WILL GLADLY PRESCRIBE MEANING TO EVERYTHING ELSE,
BUT CURIOUSLY THINK MY OWN WORK SHOULD BE ABOVE SUCH THINGS."
"It's not artist statements that bother me so much as bios," said the woman directly across from me.
I try to make my answer loud enough to include both parties, "WHY BIOS?"
"I don't know. It is something about the format. At least with a CV the information is presented without judgement.
Writing a bio is like writing an advertisement for yourself."
"Have you ever read Advertisements for Myself? I remember that I am trying to be inclusive,
"HAVE EITHER OF YOU EVER READ THAT? NORMAN MAILER'S ADVERTISEMENTS FOR MYSELF?"
"No, I haven't."
"I REALLY CAN'T STAND NORMAN MAILER. BUT THE FORMAT OF THE BOOK IS INTERESTING.
A COMPILATION OF ESSAYS AND FICTION - SHORT STORIES AND SOME EXCERPTS FROM PREVIOUS NOVELS -
AND HE BEGINS EACH ONE WITH LITTLE PREAMBLES THAT ARE JOKINGLY REFERRED TO AS ADVERTISEMENTS."
"Do they work?"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN?"
"I mean, do they sell the writing to you?"
"OH. NOT TO ME. BUT I CAN'T STAND NORMAN MAILER. HE USES TOO MANY ADJECTIVES.
I TRY TO AVOID ADJECTIVES WHEN I CAN."
"IF SOMEONE TELLS ME SOMETHING IS A CERTAIN WAY I IMMEDIATELY WANT TO THINK THE OPPOSITE.
LIKE EVERY CHINESE RESTAURANT IN BROOKLYN CAN'T BE THE 'BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT IN BROOKLYN'.
MOST OF THEM ARE PROBABLY PRETTY BAD."
"THAT WOULD BE A GREAT BIO," says my acquaintance across the table, "BEST ARTIST IN BROOKLYN."
I am glad he chimed in again, I was beginning to feel like I was shouting for no reason.