“Radiant Darkness” was published by universe.com the fall of 2000. I thought l would give you the skinny on the stories—the stories behind the stories.
The first story is Death of a Pizzaman which was inspired by the Arthur Miller play Death of a Sales Man and by my work experience of East of Chicago Pizza. There is really no one person I bossed the story on. Interestingly enough though seems to be the public’s favorite.
The second story Empty is based on Ben in a way. I had been reading about Albert Camus and something about Camus reminded me of you. I don’t know if you hove read anything on existentialism, but it struck me as something I thought Ben might embrace. Check out The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus if you haven’t read it so you con see how it fits into the story as subtext. When I wrote it in, 1999 I had only the fragments of stories Sarah had told me. Perhaps the story is just as much about me as it is Ben in a way.
The third story is Tradition. It is based on o day that I spent with Jason’s friend Rikki.
The fourth story is Raging is based on this guy that I had o fling with-Joe Cole. I knew only o few things about him really, but that didn’t stop me from filling in the rest with my imagination. This story is once ongoing, perhaps as much about me as it was about him. It is also based on the night club in Bucyrus, The Mad Bull.
The sixth story is Apple Valley Angel. lt was based loosely on Nikki Hanners, whom I worked with of East of Chicago. you might have known her younger brother Dustin Hanners. Nikki Hanners gave me bits and pieces of her life and I filled in the rest with my imagination. I guess it was sort of on exercise in trying to get into her mind…Like on doctor would try to inhibit o character.
The seventh story is the one I told you about, Shadows. It’s really wasn’t based on any particular person or series of events. It was more of fantasy than anything…And now that I think about it, it was o sort of psychological truth that l was struggling to uncover…
The eighth story is Night, which I is o sort of distorted rendition or retelling of my offer with Paul. I blended reality with a scene from the movie Dracula. in the movie Dracula comes to Mina and a similar conversation tokes place…. Franklin Church is o sort of pointer to another series of stories I read as a teen called The Vampire Diaries. The town in the series was called Fells church. I also named him Hyde to represent the Jekyll and Hyde personality or tendencies of abusers.
The ninth story was Death and Masturbation! This story was based on a composite of people. I knew this guy Mark Woods, who had this sort altitude or outlook on life…Then I threw in things that you had said to me along with things I knew other people had been through. Once again I was playing the actor and trying to get into character. What is it that this guy might feel and think? How does his mind work? I wonted to see the difference between a woman’s struggles and a man’s. I wanted to capture a sort of profile….I wanted people to understand what it is like.
The tenth story is Hotel California. I always wondered what the lyrics to the Eagle’s song meant. I remember Ben telling me once that it was his favorite song. I kind put you and the song together and come up the story….You can see the influence of existentialism here as well-but in the form of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” play. Basically the whole story is symbolic. The hotel California is really on existential hell, where lost souls end up. Having said that though, I think that this hell is really a sort of mind rather than actual place. It is completely possible to hove been there ore escaped….l think that the best that they ore trying to kill is that psychological dork side, all those fears and all that pain. I think that the key is not so much to kill the beast, but to accept it and love it, but that is another whole story.
The eleventh story is Soul Glimpse. This is based on the 7 chakras. I tried to write o story about the levels of development of o person’s life and soul…lt isn’t my best story, but it is worth looking to.
The twelfth story is Sleepless Summer. I wrote this back in the summer of 1993. I think it connects to both my relationship with Ben and a movie from the, 1950s called The Long Hot Summer. I actually decided that the summer of 1993 would officially be entitled “The Long Hot Summer.” The movie you see is about a guy named Ben who is played by o blue-eyed Paul Newman. Anyway, he is o drifter who stirs up trouble in this southern town one summer. I think he gets blamed for of barn fire or something…The story I wrote though, was perhaps my worst fears—a sort of psychological truth rather than actual events. It was o bout the helplessness, sorrow and sense of loss left…
The thirteenth story is called Lume. This story has many influences, including the movie Red Shoe Diaries and o novel called Fall of a Sparrow by Robert Helga. Anyway, it has elements of my feelings for Ethan McMillan in it and elements of other ports of my life…Then I blended in o bit of my new found love for Veronica Franco into it as well.
The fourteenth story is Wings of Desire. This is all about Ethan McMillan. None of the events happened, but I would like to think there is some truth to the feelings behind it….
The last story is Treasure, which is about the early days of my relationship with Jason….