April 13, 2014
Being an only child and surrounded by childhood friends who either had a brother or sister, left me with fantasies of being part of other families. Oddly enough, I never fantasize about the families that I knew, but more with the families I have seen on TV at the time. I was drawn into “Leave It To Beaver” at an early age, and the show which ran from 1957 to 1963, was about a middle-class white family somewhere in the United States (not Southern California, that’s for sure) where the parents had two sons. The youngest son was Beaver, who had a child-like curiosity about the world, and therefore I identified with him, because of his struggle to comprehend his world and the emotional landscape that his parents live in. The other son is Wally, who is someone I would want as a big brother.
I have been caught many times by my parents when I talked to my imaginary brother Wally. At first they thought it was either charming or cute, but my discussions with the empty space near me, got stranger and stranger to them. I, on the other hand, was quite comfortable with my relationship with Wally. As I grew older, many things changed in my life, but never my bond with Wally. I often ask him for advice, and for years I had a scrapbook that just focusses on the images of Wally, who was played by Tony Dow. At first I pretended that it was a family photo scrapbook. The illusion became reality as I got older.
When I was in my early 20’s, and by chance, I met the famous French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, who was a friend of Andre Breton and the Surrealists. In his later years, he was collecting photograph prints, and he contacted me because he had heard that I had a large collection of images by Pierre Molinier, who was known for his erotic self-portraits of himself either dressed as a woman or posing with prosthetic limbs, stiletto heels, dildos and an occasional confidante. On one of my trips to Paris, I asked if I could bring up a delicate matter to his attention. He listened to me as I talked about my obsession with my invisible older brother Wally. At one session, we watched together at least five episodes of “Leave It To Beaver.” He was fascinated that I actually based my imaginary brother on a popular TV show. Not only that, but a show that focuses on what looks like a “normal” American family. He knew I had an interest in writing and he asked me who I like as a writer. I told him that my two favorite writers are Georges Bataille and Samuel Beckett. I didn’t know at the time that he married Bataille’s wife, and was actually a good friend of the writer as well. He was proposed that maybe I should write a narrative with me and “Wally” as the main characters, but base it on a prose style by Beckett.
For the past thirty years, I have worked on one long piece, which I guess is a novel, about me and Wally going on a trip to France to locate images by Pierre Molinier. The dialogue between us, is very much based on Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” as we wait in a train station for Molinier to pick us up for some unknown destination. This is where the problem lies, because I don’t have the foggiest idea where that destination will lead us, but I feel that my brother need to hold my hand and direct me to the light, from the darkness of my mind.