Friday, February 27, 2009

Sell The House / Sell The Car / Sell The Kids...

by Sean Chercover

And so we come to the end of my magical month in Key Largo. And I'm reminded of the following lines:

SELL THE HOUSE
SELL THE CAR
SELL THE KIDS
FIND SOMEONE ELSE
FORGET IT
I'M NEVER COMING BACK
FORGET IT

Note: A signed copy of the Hardcore Hardboiled anthology goes to the first person to post the source of these lines and the name of the character who penned them.

Anyway, I don't really want Agent 99 to sell the car (I have it with me) and I definitely don't want her to sell the Mouse or find someone else ... but I do want her to sell the damn house and bring the Mouse on down to Key Largo, where we will live on conch and key limes.

What? You think that's impractical? If I were practical, I never would've become a writer.

I really do think I could live in a place like this. All my fellow big city friends say I'd go crazy after a few weeks. But the thing is, I've been here a month. Not crazy yet. I could live here.

There's a game I play, in my head, called I Could Live Here. Like Keller, Lawrence Block's great contract killer, everywhere I go, I find myself wandering the streets daydreaming about what it would be like to live there. Inevitably, I end up saying, "I could live here."

Well, not always. Agent 99 and I were wandering around Wheeling, West Virginia. Agent 99 got that nervous look in her eye and preempted me with, "No, you could not live here." (She has gotten used to the I Could Live Here game and it no longer startles her the way it once did.) In this instance, she was proved right when we stopped at the Visitors Welcome Center to ask where we could find the nearest bookstore. The answer: "Pennsylvania."

So no, I could not live in Wheeling. And I doubt that Wheelintonians are loosing any sleep over it. But the daydreaming about it is also about imagining yourself as a different kind of person. The kind of person shaped by growing up in a town very different than your own. And I've done this kind of deep daydreaming all my life, since I was a little kid.

Maybe I was in training for being a writer all along.

It has been a magical month in Key Largo. I could live here.

SELL THE HOUSE
SELL THE CAR
SELL THE KIDS
FIND SOMEONE ELSE
FORGET IT
I'M NEVER COMING BACK
FORGET IT

15 comments:

Dana King said...

They're from APOCALYPSE NOW. Written by the soldier who preceeds Martin Sheen's Captain Willard up the river to kill Colonel Kurtz. I forget the character's name, but he was played by Scott Glenn, though his speaking scenes were all cut.

jnantz said...

Dammit, I just saw this post, and one freakin' person beat me to it. CURSE YOU DANA KING!!!

(Okay, not really, but damn!)

jnantz said...

Oh, and Mr. Chercover, you're so right about Wheeling. I went there in college once, when our soccer team made regionals and the Jesuits were hosting.

No, you could not live there.

Hell, people that live there aren't even that interested in living there.

If you want to live anywhere in West Virginia, buy a log house on Snowshoe/Silver Creek mountain and just hike/ski/mountainbike all year when you aren't writing.

I COULD [not afford to] LIVE THERE.

Dana King said...

Colby. The charcater's name was Lt. Colby. (Thank you, IMDB. And thank you, Dumb Luck; I just watched this again last week, so it was fresh in my mind.))

Jake, I wish I knew how often I've been five minutes late with a comment. I feel you, man.

Sean Chercover said...

Wow - that was fast.

Congrats, Dana! Send me your mailing address and I'll get the book out to you.

Dana King said...

Sean,
I'm sending my mailing address in email through your web site.

Thanks.

Steerpike said...

Conch and Key Limes only? I don't know, Sean, that seems like a recipe for beriberi to me.

Glad you had a great trip, and thanks for making sure my brother didn't get himself eaten by an alligator. He really shouldn't go to dangerous places unsupervised.

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Tiago said...

"Sell the kids" haha, it´s a good thing sell house quickly, and your car may be; the problem is that no one will want to buy the children hahah

Sell Property For Cash said...

Well, that's crazy things but at least find a good idea on how you can sell your house quickly, yes it's not that very easy, you need to take a long patient after you ready your house literally tidy.

atik khan said...


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SELL THE CAR
SELL THE KIDS
FIND SOMEONE ELSE
FORGET IT
I'M NEVER COMING BACK
FORGET IT"- I like this quota.This is very informative article.Thanks for sharing with us.my property in Thailand Chiang mai property