Industry people say a writer should do one or the other, either write screenplays or write novels. Either take the New York train or catch the Hollywood plane. Screenwriters should stick to screenplays and novelist should stick to novels, and there is no middle ground. You are just not allowed to do both. It’s not what we do. One half of the brain will fight against the other and eventually it will explode and you will surely die during your 50th draft. That’s what they teach aspiring book and screenwriters in the West and in the East, right? Not true.
Well, thank God I have no real writing experience other than the imaginary stories my mother used to tell us as children or maybe I would have bought into everything every teacher taught me in class. See, sometimes the less you know about a subject, the better. And it’s better sometimes to ask for forgiveness rather than for permission.
Oh yea, I forgot. And what’s this Hollywood rule which says my screenplay is not allowed to have a cover on it?? Well last I checked, screenplays were two and three hole punched with plastic or brass fasteners, (yes there are some pompous **#% out there who will quite literally throw your hard work in the trash can unless those fasteners are polished brass) talk about hurting your mothers feelings— she would cry the Mississippi if you did that to her son or daughter.
So I say (reject me forever if you must) that if you are more impressed with those golden brass fasteners than with my cover (and I’m giving you both) and you are so arrogant your busy fingers just can’t for the life of you remove a simple cover— chances are I probably won’t be very impressed with your evaluation and opinion of my work either (unless of course your name is George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, or one of that entourage of course).
Oh, and if I want a plastic covering over it to keep it from getting smudged (to impress you) that’s OK too, thank you very much. Sorry, but I would just feel for a person who has placed months or even years of writing out their dreams only to have somebody throw it in the garbage. It’s called having a heart (whether it’s good or not). Besides, my mom always said don’t be a copycat and it was her idea anyway. She likes it much better with a plastic cover than without one, and that’s all that really counts these days anyway. And besides all of that, my best friend who is now flying around somewhere in Heaven is on the cover, just like I promised him.
So now that I got that off my chest…
PROLOGUE – PART 1
July 6, 1990
Dr. Charles Unsworth & Associates, Professor.
Berkeley School of Psychiatry
14003 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California90210
Summary of Treatment
Patient: John Doe
9:00 a.m. –
Patient John Doe, Caucasian male, unknown age, (35-50 yrs) came in to my office today for critical evaluation therapy. Patient was carrying a large tote bag of clothing. Patient Doe believes someone is watching him. Patient Doe says he has been followed here today. I asked Patient Doe why he feels he is being followed. He responds… “Through his eyes, I’d often see, the man, in the mirror. I follow him, because he follows me.”
Patient Doe is dressed as a Catholic priest. Patient refuses to remove his hat and sunglasses and does not want to be identified. Patient Doe drove three hours to personally seek out Dr. Unsworth. This appointment was made two weeks prior. The Patient was adamant about only seeing Dr. Unsworth. Patient Doe also wishes financial anonymity and pays in cash. Patient Doe is devastated over a recent rejection and the voluntary abortion by his spiritual wife. Patient Doe claims spiritual wife is an angel and is illegally married to another man without the approval of God. Patient denies history of legal psychotropic medicines, prescriptions, or psychiatric commitments. Patient would like to discuss alternative impulse-resistance therapy and alternative coping mechanisms. Patient also denies violent or suicidal tendencies. He pronounces a firm belief in the healing power of God but believes God has rejected him. Patient refuses to talk about his family and upbringing. Patient said only that he had a loving mother and father. Patient Doe works professionally with community members and offers professional advice. Patient complains of delusional hallucinations and reoccurring day and nighttime nightmares. Delusions have increased in severity during the last several years. Patient Doe is emotionally hurt but denies volatility.
I am unable to properly medicate due to lack of required legal information from Patient or medical history for dispensing. Patient admits to prior medication several years ago, obtained from a physician in Mexico. Denies recent use but will pursue medication in Mexico if necessary. Patient Doe believes his spiritual wife whispers to him in his dreams, that she will have his child on earth, and they will all be together in Heaven.
10:05 a.m. –
Patient excuses himself to go into bathroom.
Predetermination: Schizophrenic Delusional Disorder.
Nonviolent with concern of escalation.
10:10 a.m. –
Patient returns and is dressed in a brown police uniform but has no patches. Patient is very rigid in his speech and talks and acts like a police officer. Patient Doe ask me for my driver’s license, registration, and proof of my existence.
Patient Doe is not armed. Says he has an aversion to firearms, but that he feels he would enjoy hunting animals that are not faithful to their own kind. Patient groups some people as animals. Patient Doe begins to plead for help and asks for medication. Medication may be prescribed at next visit, if Patient Doe submits to lab tests. Patient Doe believes he is currently in one of his nightmares.
10:25 a.m. –
Patient Doe excuses himself and goes into the bathroom.
Determination: Patient Episodic Psychosis Disorder.
Concern of violence to self and others.
10:37 a.m. –
Patient Doe returns and lies on the couch. Says his name is Mona. Patient Doe is dressed like a woman and claims to be of African American Descent. Patient Doe says,
“All sluts must die.” Patient Doe says Mona has taken a boat ride out to sea and has jumped into deep water. Patient Doe says he will kill himself to be with her in paradise.
10:45 a.m. –
Patient Doe excuses himself and goes back into the bathroom.
Determination: Schizophrenic Delusional Disorder / Episodic Psychosis Disorder.
Concern of violence to self and others.
Emergency petition: In consideration for the health and safety of Patient Doe and the public at large, I will be ordering a commitment for an involuntary mental evaluation of Patient Doe. I will also notify police and attempt to establish domicile.
10:50 a.m. –
Patient Doe returns and is dressed in an orange jumpsuit. Patient Doe places a book on my desk, which I wrote in 1963. It is about Jonathan Florentino. Patient Doe tells me he never gave me permission to write this book.
Patient Doe lays down on the couch with his arms relaxed in comfort behind his head. Patient Doe is calm and silent. Patient Doe becomes very sarcastic and witty. Patient Doe says he will live forever. Patient Doe is very intelligent and calculating. Patient Doe asks me…
“Do you remember me?”
I inform Patient Doe, “Yes… Jonathan I do.”
Professional Medical Diagnosis:
Previous medical determinations are negative. Patient Jonathan Doe has no psychiatric or psychotic deviation. He is normal. He is an instinctual killer. He is the Flesh and Blood of his Father. Patient Doe is his own son. Patient Jonathan Doe will now kill me…
The man in prison orange stood up from the couch. He walked over to the door and locked it. He also closed the blinds. He knew he was the last appointment. Then he walked over to the old man. He raised the long knife up higher and higher, until it arched behind his shoulder. Then with one stroke, the blade flashed and found home, severing the old man through the cranium.
WELCOME TO MY WEEKLY BLOG BLOG
The real man who graces the cover of this book is my eternal best friend, Scott Warren Polkinghorne, who passed away on January 12, 2012. Scott, I promised you bro, that if you ever found a good enough photo of you, (Yeah, I know what you’re probably saying “All my photos look good,” right?) I would place you on the cover of my first novel for the entire world to see.
And although you never found one before you were called away, on November 10, 2011, at 0946hrs, on the Marine Corps Birthday, you sent me a text of the Marine Memorial from your phone. The text read LIVE FROM IWO. I still have it on my phone. And the world will see that, too. You placed your face in the video, and the last word I ever saw and heard you speak in this life was, “Oohrah!”
At 0947 hrs, as you were standing in front of the Memorial, Scott, you happened to snap a photo of yourself that I know will be viewed by millions of people all over the world. It was exactly what I was looking for. You came through, just like you said, thanks bro.
Scott, as you know, Jonathan Florentino is a fictional character, and he could not hold a candle to you in the real world – or in a fictional one.
You and I also know, that if it were possible to take a magical visit to Never Never Land, we’d have to catch that train, go down there, and kick his *&#!* and give Jonathan the true Hollywood beat down that he deserves.
As a fictional or as a real person, Jonathan Florentino is everything both you and I would despise in the real world. But he makes for good entertainment, and that’s what it’s all about, right? Entertainment.
When this book makes it to the big screen (and I believe it will, because I have already written the screenplay, LOL), the actor who plays Jonathan better look just as intimidating as you do on the cover. That’s you, bro; intimidating, but with a heart spun of gold.
Scott, you leave behind a wife: Joni Lynn-Carnevale Polkinghorne, who you loved very deeply and who has loved you, Scott, always and forever. Your oldest son, Kevin 18, who looks just like you when you were 18, and is on his way to fulfilling his dream of becoming a policeman. His younger brother, Tyler 16, who told me yesterday on the phone that even though Kevin is older, he is the better looking one, and has all the ladies, (what’s that saying about the apple and the tree, bro?) but he still has the bright, wryly, grinning smile of his mother, Carol Anne Polkinghorne, your first wife, the mother of your two sons and one of your close friends who has always been at your side in times of need.
I spoke with your father, Stephen, a couple of days ago. His exact words to me were, “I miss my boy,” (I had to break down a little bit on that tune, bro. Sorry).
Anyway, as you know, he and Bev miss you, and so does your mother, Delma; your brother Steve, your sisters: Michele, Robin, Sonya, and all of your extended family and friends who you have touched.
For 26 years, we called you Scotty Flawless because your boots were spit-shined so perfectly, it looked like you were actually walking in a black pair of glass. You made a lot of Marines green with envy. Remember how the body bearers hated us? We could outlift them, too, and we would make those funny, obnoxious sounds as we lifted, to get them to hate us more. We were 18 and I still smile when I think of it. And by the way (and so what), congratulations for finally outbenching me (even though it took you 21 years).
A final thought Scott. In 1986 you brought together a group of friends, best friends, all of us: Jimmy Gwaltney, Kris Hess, and Earl Gilpin. We have all been close, ever since, and no matter how far apart we may now live away from each other, no matter how much time has passed, no matter how much time shall pass; through you Scott we are joined as brothers. You just had had it like that, bro, magic. You will never be forgotten.
Oh, and you’re not getting off that easy. Like we talked about, whether it is in this life, or the next, the five of us are still going to take that deep sea fishing trip we planned. All the fish we can eat. And I have a feeling, that wherever that place is, you sure as hell won’t be allergic to shrimp. But knowing you, I’m sure you’re just waiting on us, and you probably have the spot already picked out.
Oh, and one last thing: That book you wanted to write about your life, don’t worry about it. Something tells me that one day I’m probably going to end up writing it for you.
Now that’s enough of that mushy stuff. Take off those wings, sit your ass back on that cloud, kick up them boots, and enjoy the story. It’s all about you, bro. It’s about Scotty Flawless…