Crown Prince Frederik has had too much whisky, in "Joel Fauré, The Melancholy Male Model"

May 1999


A Fresh Start for Five George Washingtons

Crippled by carpal tunnel syndrome (thank you, for the first half of April, I had to leave computers behind entirely, and spent a week in southern California.

That involved a lot of driving, a holiday in itself for me. At home in New York City, I take the subway and taxis everywhere.

I was a little nervous at first, taking on the fabled Santa Monica Freeway. But soon I'd settled in like a real California driver, speeding and weaving and cutting across three or four lanes at a time with no signal.

It's really remarkable to look over into the other cars: people reading newspapers, shaving, putting on mascara, catching up on paperwork from the office, all while steering a car at 80 mph.

Anyway, I get a lot of thinking done while I drive, and I get a lot of story ideas. This time, as I drove out to the Joshua Tree cactus park, I was thinking about the trouble people seem to have identifying with the five lead characters of Five George Washingtons.

My solution was to put together five new short stories, one about each of the five characters, showing sort of who they were and why.

They'll be seen on this site throughout the summer.

More New Features This Month

This has been a fertile month for the site...lots of new stuff.

First up, we've got a new episode of Joel Fauré, The Melancholy Male Model. Joel attempts to throw aside his principles and date girls he does not truly love.

Furthermore, my friend Ellen Watkins, a musician, helped me record RealAudio backing for the first five episodes of Joel Fauré. It's set to Aaron Copeland's "Quiet City," but the voice is mine.

There's also a new chapter of Five George Washingtons.

And check out an updated version of Readers Speak. I've been getting a lot of e-mail from India recently. I'm not sure what that's about.