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Helene's Running With Scissors

Helene's Running With Scissors

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Chapter from HELENE - A Living Novel - Scissors' author visits South Beach
Chapter from HELENE - A Living Novel - Scissors' author visits South Beach

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Published by: David Arthur Walters on Sep 19, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Chapter from HELENE – A Living Novel
Helene's Running With Scissors
 by David Arthur Walters
“Oh, my God, go back to that channel!” Helene suddenlyexclaimed as Paul flipped through the channels. “No, no, yes,there it is, that one, it’s
Running With Scissors
, my favoritemovie of all time. I’ve read the book several times, and eachtime I learn something more. It’s enormously profound. Haveyou read it?”“I’ve read a few snatches of it in a bookstore,” said Paul,putting down the remote, just in time for a commercial, “and Ididn’t buy it because I don’t like the sensationalist style. Ideasare my thing. Descriptions of sensations, such as the smell of fragrant flowers, or descriptions of objects, such as a blimphovering in the limpid air, are a waste of time as far as I’mconcerned. I could care less about a rosy dawn or a mountainpeak unless it is symbolic of something transcendental.”
“Symbolic? Like what?”“Like the stainless steel barber’s scissors I have beencarrying around for forty-six years. They are the handiest toolI’ve ever had. They came in especially handy as a roach-clip inthe Sixties. The sight of a pair of scissors evokes thetranscendental feeling I had when I got high. And for somereason, I have always had an urge to cut women’s hair. I musthave been a hairdresser in a previous life. I got in trouble for cutting a girl’s hair on my first day in kindergarten. That’s whenI heard that George Washington cut down a cherry tree, andwhen I learned to lie.”“How did you learn to lie?” Helene quizzed.“The teacher told me she knew I was lying about the hair because I didn’t look her straight in the eyes when I denied it –I lied because she acted like cutting hair was a bad thing, and Ifigured I would be whipped. After that, I always looked peoplein the eye and didn’t blink when I lied to keep them fromhurting me.”“I see. You had better not lie to me again.”“I have never lied to you,Paul insisted, looking hedirectly in the eye.“You lied about your age. You are much older than me.”“I’ve watched parts of this movie,Paul changed thesubject. “You must know that it flopped at the box office.”“The book is better than the movie.”“I could not make heads or tails of it and got bored. I’veread quite a few articles about the author, however. Uh, mymemory is slipping – what’s his name?”
“Burroughs.”“Right, he changed his name from Robinson.”“Robison, Chris Robison,” Helene corrected. “Hechanged his name to Augusten Xon Burroughs when he waseighteen.”“Xon was an august commander of Starfleet, I think thetwenty-third commander,” observed Paul.“No, ‘Xon’ is a word he picked up when he was workingwith computers. There were the terms ‘X-On’ and ‘X-Off’, andhe picked ‘X-on’ because he was an alcoholic who liked to turnon to crack, which is how he became a writer. And writing gothim dried out and off drugs.”“I see. Well, aren’t you the Burroughs buff.”“I’m a fan, all right.”“He must have borrowed the name ‘Burroughs’ from W.S.Burroughs, the Beat writer who wrote
Naked Lunch
whilestrung out on heroin.”“Wrong again,” Helene said smugly. “He got the namefrom the Burroughs tabulating machine.”“Ha!Paul ejaculated. “True or not, I imagine W.S.Burroughs was his delinquent, dope-addicted, homosexualrole model. Maybe he’s just unaware of where he really got thename, like I was unaware of the fact that my apartmentnumber, 1908, suggested that I write a book about the eventsof that year. Such was the power of suggestion that I didn’trealize why I had picked that year until long after I’d finishedthe book, and noticed the number, 1908, on my door Eureka!. Anyhow,
Naked Lunch
is right up his alley. I’ll bet he

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