martes, 7 de octubre de 2008

the Life and Times of the Persona Writer (project for a play)

“Oh hi, I mean hello, it is Sarah isn’t it? Nice to finally meet you Sarah.”

“Yes, I’m David that is correct. I was just making sure you were you because these dating services tend to be unreliable sometimes don’t you think? Once I was supposed to meet a Maria and a Stephanie turned up instead.”

“Yeah, it is crazy.”

“So, would you like something to drink maybe? Let me call the waiter.”

“No, I haven’t been waiting much, although we had set the date for nine right?

“Oh no, no, no, don’t worry about it, I’ve been having fun here, waiting.”

“Yes lots fun indeed, I’ve been watching people and trying to figure out who wrote them…”

“The Lady is having wine, is that right Sarah? And I’m having rum with coke with a dab of sparkling water and a twist of lemon.”

“Or maybe not, you know what, I’ll have wine as well.”

“Red for me please.”



“Can we have the menus please? Thank you.”

“This is my favorite restaurant in this part of town. Whenever I’m in Brooklyn I eat here. Love it. It’s like a personal tradition. I hope you like it as well. The fried salmon with pumpernickel in a red sauce with sautéed coriander asparagus and fried Italian pancetta is absolutely wonderful. Have you seen anything appealing?”

“A Garden salad, well that sounds, sounds great, as well, yeah a Garden salad, good choice.”

“I’m a writer. I’m actually an Individual Persona Profile writer, or an IPP you see: Individual Persona Profile.”

“What is it? Oh well it’s a bit complicated to explain if you’re not in The System, or at least related to it. But then again who isn’t related to The System. Look, in layman’s terms, what we do is write people, personas really. We create their personalities you see, to maintain some sort of order in the world. But more than order it’ is balance the word I’m looking for.”

“Yes, balance as in “cosmic balance”. For example, take that couple seating at the table near the bar.”

“Right, those exactly. She is your typical man-eater-sex-bomb: perfect blond hair, endless toned legs and a distinct hourglass 30cm proportion between her hips and waist. He, on the other hand, is the epitome of what we writers in the business call “money-attractive”. He is short and fat, not overweight but fat, has a heavy sagging nose, hints of a crooked back that will most likely get worse with age, and I could even bet that whoever wrote him probably made him terrible in bed. But the man is loaded, look at his shoes and belt, they always give a character away. So what the system does is that even though those two make an awfully odd couple, somehow they work well together, look. The way she looks at him, how he touches her. There must be shared traits somewhere in their infinite disparity that make the relationship possible. Which is what we’re all looking for at the end isn’t it.”

“Well romanticists call it Love, we at The System call it universal balance.”

“Now don’t laugh, it is true. IPP writers are really responsible for maintaining universal balance. I probably shouldn’t tell you this but, what the hell… this is how it works.”


“We writers have a Manual with many Individual Personal Profiles described in detail. There are nerds, addicts, fashionistas, geeks, millionaires, divas, bums, psychopaths and, of course, The Types: the jealous type, the depressed type, the macho type. You name it we have it.”

“Yes, we have romantics as well but I hate writing those. Really.”

“And how the whole process works is quite simple really. After a two month Induction course and only if if you get lucky in the Graduation Raffle you get a Manual and are automatically certified as a genuine IPP writer. So much for 90% work and 10% luck, even if you’re the brightest during the Induction course, if you don’t get a green ticket during the raffle you’re, well, you’re screwed you know. But if you get a green ticket well you’re in!”

“Can I have a fork please? Do you need anything Sarah?”

“Just smell that coriander and pumpernickel, it’s a symphony.”

“This smell reminds you of growing up? How strange, me too. My mother used to make the most delicious chicken with tons of coriander for Sunday dinner. And pumpernickel, well that has to do with my grandmother basically.”

“Yeah well that was a long time ago, what was I saying?”

“Right the green ticket. So after that lucky break of fate you get logged into The System. And then after a period of 24hrs to 15 work days you’ll get your first Request. This means that before becoming an IPP, you need to be prepared to survive on your own moneys from two to three months. Nobody tells you that, of course, so many IPP’s quit after they’ve got the ticket.”

“It is quite ironic indeed, you’re right, but…Can you pass the bread please...but what in The System is not ironic? I mean life in itself is quite …”

“Oh sorry, yes what is The System. Well, as far as I know The System is like the universe’s central brain. Apparently it controls everything from every thing. The system is the one who sends us the Requests for IPP’s. Let me give you an example, you see those two old ladies sitting next to each other by the fire place.”

“No not them, the other really old ones to your left.”

“Exactly. “Floodingly flowered” that is a great term to describe them!”

“They look like they are friends don’t they? Well, that is no coincidence. In a certain moment of her lifespan flower lady number one needed a friend, so The System acknowledged the Request and sent it to an IPP writer. The writer did his job and there she is. Then at some point, that The System decided, the flower ladies met and became friends.”

“Yeah, it’s amazing isn’t it?”

“No, au contraire, it’s a fairly easy job and the pay is extremely good. The only burden is deadlines. They are very strict with them: if you don’t answer a request in 72 minutes you’re automatically fired.”

“That is a good question. I really don’t know why it works like that I just always turn them in on time. My guess is that sometimes they may be in a rush to create personas for other’s people’s lives.”

“Oh yeah I’ve wrote loads of them. I’m the proud creator of five thousand six hundred and three personas.”

“Haven’t met any of my creations yet, I think.”

“But enough about me, I’ve been talking all dinner long, tell me more about you. Actually would you like some dessert?”

“Or coffee? No?”

“What? You have to go? So soon?”

“Another appointment, oh I thought you said you were free tonight.”

“It came up. Suddenly. Ok I understand.”

“No don’t worry about it, I’ll just ask for the check and we can get going.”

“No I don’t think The System ever makes a mistake. Well, to be honest I don’t really know. I guess not. But what do you mean by mistakes exactly?”

“Oh no not that, The System never gets a wrong Request. Maybe it’s that the person making the requests doesn’t really know what he or she needs. Maybe they think they do but they don’t. Or maybe the person is mistaking what she wants with what she needs. Because what I do know is that The System gets the Requests just as the person, well, just as the person requests it, literally, that’s why they are called Requests. No mistakes there, a pure direct transmission.”

“No, I don’t think it’s the writer’s fault either if you don’t get what you requested. It is true, like you say, that every decision that the writer makes has consequences on the end product, the persona that is, but as writers we follow a strict protocol. The Manual I told you about remember. For example, if the person is asking for a boyfriend with certain characteristics, let’s say, a successful man that loves dogs, the writer looks “successful” on the Manual and works with the given characteristics of that profile. At the end the persona, this man, may end having a taste for cars or supermodels, and maybe big smelly feet as well, but rest assured that when the writer finishes creating him, the man will be successful and will most certainly love dogs. So no there are no mistakes. I think it has more to do with requesting the request than granting it.”

“Well the check is here. No please don’t worry I’m inviting. Come on please put your money away it was and is my pleasure.”

“Wait, before we live I wanted to ask something. Can I call you? What do you think? Would you like to go out again some time?”

1 comentario:

Juanita Banana Republic dijo...

Very good story, You are a very inspired writer, congratulations !!!!