I FINALLY OPEN UP TO YOU
ME: I handle trouble like Jesus. No, not that Jesus. I mean Jesus (pronounced “Hay-Soose”) Salvador Umberto Luis Diaz, my Cuban hit man from Bigger Than Jesus and Higher than Jesus. Recently I had to talk to Authority to get something fixed. I can’t go into details about the mission, but I will tell you how I approached the problem by channeling my alter ego/main character.
YOU: Wait a minute, Chazz, your main character isn’t just your protagonist? You’re actually saying he’s your alter ego? And he’s a hit man?
ME: The truth is, I’m not much use in most situations. Can’t cook or balance a chequebook or fix plumbing. My idea of small talk is asking if strangers believe in eternal damnation. Quantum mechanics, the Singularity and Simulation Theory is cool, but I’m apparently incapable of breezy talk about your job, your kids or your trip to Cancun. I can dislocate a shoulder and fix it again, but those opportunities don’t arise often…(ahem)…enough.
However, when out on a mission, I dress well and all in black, complete with black fedora.
YOU: A fedora? Really? That’s a…bold choice.
ME: It’s called style if you carry yourself like you don’t give a shit. I dress like a bad immortal from Highlander (soon to be released again and, as with Green Lantern, ruined by the otherwise beautiful Ryan Reynolds).
BACK TO HIT MAN FASHION CHOICES
Remember John Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank when Dan Aykroyd asks him to join a union for hit men? He replies, “Look at me! Look at the way I dress! I didn’t get into this business to have any relationships! I don’t want to join your goddamn union. Loner, lone gunman! Get it? That’s the whole point!” God, I love that movie. My books have a similar sensibility and quirky comedy.
MY PIN SAYS “EVIL DOER”
That pin and a hard look gets me better service wherever I go, from sales people to cash registers. Jesus thinks like I think in many ways. My sense of humor is the same as Jesus’s. I write him. How could it not be so? We share a worldview about violence, revenge, love and commitment. (Though I wasn’t a Cuban émigré tortured in a Miami basement in my childhood, I did grow up in rural Nova Scotia, so clearly there are parallels in our psychological impairments.) We’re both paranoid and lie with a facility that would alarm you if we weren’t in the professions we’re in. Our motto is the same: Question Authority before Authority questions you. We both seem to have surprisingly fast reaction times, but that’s just because we’re always plotting how to respond should anything bad happen. We don’t relax. We anticipate and simmer.
True story: When I got into the meeting with Authority today, I made some jokes, but my jaw was tight and by the end of the meeting my rage showed. I reined it in and kept my voice low. Authority was cooperative. Authority was nice. Authority pressed his back into his chair, wide-eyed, nodding and worried. Even when I made a joke, Authority was afraid to laugh because Authority knew I was serious and there’s something there that I’m trying to hold back but the leash is slippery and the chain links are weak. Jesus Diaz is a “Do it to them before they get a chance to do it to you” sort of guy. We understand each other.
Authority agreed to my requests because I stood up for the little guy, because I’m right and because I channeled the Jesus in me. I love Jesus. Sure, he’s a contract killer, but he’s a victim, too, and if you read the books, you grow to understand and like him at the very least. Mr. Diaz is complex and tragic and funny and he’s the underdog who, despite all odds against him, somehow wins…or sort of wins. I relate to him on a visceral level.
YOU (brightly and, I suspect, disingenuously): O-kay…. That’s our time for today!
ME: Thank you, doctor. Same time next week?
YOU: If that’s okay with you, Mr. Chute, sure.
You think I missed that snarky little addendum of yours. You said it under your breath, but I read lips. After “sure” you added, “you psycho.“
Maybe it was even a subconscious thing you aren’t even aware you did, but I’m sure. My face betrays nothing. I nod toward your office window and point to the parking lot.
ME: There’s a homeless-looking guy who looks like he’s casing cars out there. Which car is yours?
Without thinking, you rush to the window and point out your car for me.
YOU: I don’t see anyone out there.
ME: He must have moved out of sight behind those hedges. You can’t be too careful. Nice car. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.
~ Robert Chazz Chute writes suspense, crime novels and has two guides to writing and publishing for sale. For his book links and to hear the All That Chazz podcasts, go to AllThatChazz.com. That would be so groovy.
- The Moving Forward Edition (allthatchazz.com)
- TOP TEN: Reach more readers with these blog tweaks (chazzwrites.com)
- Seven tips about book marketing very few will heed (chazzwrites.com)
- #NaNoWriMo: How to make reading like cardio (chazzwrites.com)