June 30, 2014
I have been a member of the Scriblerus Club since January 1, 2014. We see each other once a month to write, think, and to be honest, to drink. We have been working on a book “The Memoirs of Martinus Scribierus.” for the past six months, and so far, it is going pretty smoothly. “Martinus Scribierus” is a combination of yours truly and two additional characters by the name of Johnny Gay and Johnny Swifty. I met them at Brand Books in Glendale, in the literary bio section of that store. So far, we have meetings at that location after the store closes at 8:00 pm. We have done this on a consistent basis since New Year’s Day.
My contribution to the meeting is usually two bottles of Charles Shaw, a jar of mild salsa, and corn chips. The Johnnies (that is exactly what I call them) usually bring just themselves, due to their financial situation which is not so hot. One of the Johnnies works there, and with permission from the owner, he could have our regular sessions at the Brand. The only rule is that we have to turn off the lights. Therefore not use any electricity in the building. So the Johnnies supply candles and matches for our meetings. To get inspiration for “The Memoirs of Martinus Scribierus, ” we often talk about our favorite literary memoirs. Not exactly “literary” but I always admired Errol Flynn’s “My Wicked Wicked Ways, ” mostly for the title and the fact that you can’t really trust the information that he’s supplying in his book. We all agreed that our memoir should follow his path, and therefore a great chance that this book will be seen and read as a masterpiece.
Since we don’t have any electricity, we can’t play music or show any films - which is a major part of our meetings. We’re all film geeks, and what we do, in placement of showing a film, we discuss the plots of our favorite film works in great detail. For instance, the last meeting I told the Johnnies about a film made in 1947 called “T-Men, ” which is a semidocumentary style film noir about two U.S. Treasury agents who go undercover in an attempt to break a counterfeiting ring. It’s a very exciting piece of work, and I enjoyed playing out all the roles in the film. I became quite skilled in using my hands to express the tale, and with the shadows cast by the lighted candle it looked pretty cool. I guess what we were doing is sort of a primitive version of cinema.
Only once was our meeting disrupted by the presence of the Glendale police. They drove by and noticed the flickering of the lighted candles through the large windows facing Brand Bouvelard. Luckly Johnny could contact the owner, and he over the telephone, cleared up the whole matter with the local police. The book is nearly finished, and to protect the innocent, we’re going to make the memoir look like it was published in London, sometime in the 18th century. But if one reads it, the narrative clearly takes place in 21st Century Glendale.
The two Jonnnies and I will stop and disband the club on December 31, this year. The bookstore’s owner is retiring, and we felt it would be appropriate to retire as well. The memory of the bookstore will last as long as the Glendale citizens and elsewhere, keep a memory of the store itself, but also anyone who owns or reads “The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus.” Culture doesn’t die, it just moves in the shadows of a flickering candle light.