My lunch with author Arthur Nersesian
was uneventful due to his new beard. His long, bushy, hideous, insane beard kept us from discussing much of anything other than how I think it makes him look old and insane. He thinks it's going to help his career because he has a new book coming out in September and he thinks when people see him on his book tour they'll think he's really gone off the deep end and buy the book to read the work of a crazy person. "You know, the sympathy factor," he said. I told him that would be like me deciding that if I would just gain 150 pounds I could win a National Book Award.
I'm terrified of blogging. I think it's death to writers. This is the third blog I've ever written and I worry that I'm giving away all of my material, material that could be used for a book. Now I'm worried Arthur's beard, with its tiny dribble of whipped cream from his hot chocolate, could have been a great character in my next book and I've wasted it here on Powell's website. I have my own website that I've just had someone put up for me and I promised to blog on it every week, but I only wrote one and that was over a month ago.
As a writer, you retreat into yourself when you're writing and then, when your book comes out you have to Willy Loman around the country and buy your own book for everyone and grow a disfiguring beard for publicity purposes. Arthur's practically the next JT Leroy with that thing on his face.
I dread all the publicity writing I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to write an essay for Nerve.com about the worst sex I have ever had. This is an impossible task. Not because I've never had bad sex but because most of it was on one sort of mediocre level and I don't want the world to know about it, or at least not Nerve.com's supposed one million readers. There was one man named Stephen who somehow managed to hold himself above me while we were doing it so that we weren't really touching and we were at his friend's apartment where he was dogsitting and he made chili and served something very strange for dessert ? frozen grapes. And there was one time when I was first dating my husband when ? and I'm not sure exactly how this went down ? he sort of spit on my back and I said, "What was that?" and he said, "I don't know," and we had a big fight about it.
I don't know what about Arthur's beard led me to write about bad sex, but that I guess is the great thing about blogging.
÷ ÷ ÷
Jennifer Belle is the author of Going Down, High Maintenance, and Little Stalker. She lives in New York City.