Friday, February 02, 2007

Characterize This - John Heinstein

All the characters in all the novels and short fiction I’ve written are were created out of mist, spiritual wellsprings, and the collective unconscious of all the people I’ve ever known. Any one character in any of my stories is almost always a Frakenstienian patchwork of a pair of eyes from this person, a scarred arm from that person, and an annoying open-mouth gum chewing from the fool who sat next to me in an open office space in another life.

Sometimes, I just steal somebody’s identity in total and tweak it to match the story. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to write about some of the people whose lives I’ve plundered for art. If I have a photo, I’ll use it … maybe … maybe not. I don’t have a picture of the guy with the bats flying out of his eyes, but I do have a picture of …

John Heinstein.

John and I have performed together on the big stage in poetry slams and the UNB GroundBeat Performance Series. We’ve also worked together in three different companies, gotten drunk on some of New Brunswick’s most pristine (and dangerous) wilderness rivers (and lost cameras and other shit when our canoes wanted to go in directions our drunken minds couldn’t … yes … always blame it on the canoe), and exchanged many a high-flying idea inspired by rush jobs in the crazy world of software development.

This is what John looks like with hair …

This is what John looks like without hair …

John is the model for one of the characters in Murder by Burger (which I’m hoping to finish by the end of May, 2007). He’s the twisted genius Dr. John Jonathan Toole (aka Dr. John), creator of the cloned hamburger, who gained international notoriety in 2020 when the global public learned that he wanted his corporate bosses to finance his project to clone a 60’s rock band, or as it says in the book …

“Strange as it seemed to him, they weren’t about to fund a ten year project to use DNA from dead rock stars from the sixties to create a sixties rock band composed of Jim Morrison on vocals, Jimi Hendrix on lead guitar, Otis Redding on bass, Joe Cocker (who claimed to still be alive, but nobody believed him) on tambourines, and on drums, why none other than Dr. John Jonathan Toole who, once the band was formed, genuinely intended to take drumming lessons.”

If you knew John in real life … this would not seem a large leap.


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