I have a thing published at Beat The Dust. It is called “Sweeties like radioactive worms” and is the fictionalised account of the real life death of the author of the coffee reviews and recipe it contains. Regular readers here will guess that my co-author is Matt Kinnison.
I’m really pleased that Melissa Mann decided to run with this. I know it’s a bit odd. I also know that Matt would freakin’ love it!
Matt was Mr Caffeine, he loved coffee more than any other substance and was a real aficionado. A few birthdays back he sent me a package containing 4 bags of freshly ground coffee and a card containing descriptions, ratings and reviews of the coffees. He also wrote the turkish coffee recipe for me on our shared (now defunct) Live Journal. We had spoken about the possibility of us collaborating on some words. We wondered about him maybe illustrating a children’s story I would write called “The Bear and the Pickle” – only when we tried, his Pickle looked too phallic for a kids book. We ran out of time. We had wildly differing styles too – he was surreal and funny and abstract and, erm, I’m none of those things. But he loved my writing and encouraged me enormously. I said I would write a coffee story for him and asked permission to use his words.
After he died I set out to write the deepest, most awesome tribute to him. And failed. And failed again. And again. The coffee story became too important. However I wrote it was wrong. It became soggy where it should have been sharp, reportage where it should have been fiction, and the more I worked at it the worse it became. I put it away.
I got it out months later, looked at its blahness, its 5,000 words of well intentioned bad, and I cut it to shreds. Sliced and diced. Spliced in Matt’s words – et voila!
Matt loved William Burroughs cut ups and would love the fact that I have done this. I have no clue what anyone else will make of it, but that’s not so much the point. It’s the last of my Matt writings, and it feels good.
By the way, the very awesome title comes from Matt’s coffee recipe. Boy did he have a way with words.
4 thoughts on “Sweeties Like Radioactive Worms”
Awe, Sara, it's a caffeine buzz of a tribute. I thought the editing, the contrast this brought to the piece, was really powerful and it moved me and made me hurt and smile in equal measure to try and connect (feel) what this man must have been like to live. You were lucky to have the experience of him, I feel, and your writing, when touched by him, is dark and yet there is such a buzz of life in it. It's a great piece. You say surreal, I say out of the ordinary.
Rachel, thank you so much for your comment, it really means a lot to me.
I loved it Sara. May your friend rest in peace.I'm glad this tribute became a story,it feels like all you want to say, you do say, and there's all the unsaid things in between that are clearly there too.peace
shruti, it is so kind of you to take the time. Thank you very much. And peace back atcha!