Thursday, December 4, 2008

Maybe You're In DEAR EVERYBODY Too

I always get a strange jolt of something in the back of my brain whenever I see J.M. Coetzee's THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MICHAEL K in a bookstore. That's one thing.

Then this other thing happened at a party. I was eating cake and this woman walked up to me and said, I'm Debbie Miller. I said something to her that indicated that I was willing to accept the fact that she was Debbie Miller and I ate some more cake. She said that she was her name again and emphasized the syllables. I realized that I was supposed to understand something, but I didn't. Then she said, Page 147? Then she said, The yearbook quotes? I still couldn't remember, but I tried to pretend as if I did. She knew I was pretending and said, I don't think you wrote DEAR EVERYBODY. I shrugged and she walked away. I went to get some more cake.

Here are all the names of all the characters:

Allison Adler, Mr. Akers, Mrs. Akers, Lisa Asher, Lisa Baer, Paul Barnett, Professor Bartoli, Michael Brody, Alice Bender, Jonathon Bender, Grandma Bender, Grandpa Bender, Robert Bender, Sara Bender, Thomas Bender, Professor Boyette, Coach Brackett, Cole Brooks, Diane Brunson, Jane Brunson, Sam Caginello, Simone Chute, Sheri Collucci, Mary Craftman, Joleen Curtis, Terrence Darnell, Veronica Dixon, Mr. Driscoll, Mrs. Driscoll, Mr. Evers, Mrs. Evers, Heather Fairing, Mrs. Farmington, Megan Fitzgerald, Dr. Fritch, Jennie Fuentes, Mr. Gardner, Mark Gibbons, Candace Graham, Kathy Granger, Lisa Green, Dr. Gregory, Kelly Hagan, Mr. Hall, Mrs. Hall, Maxine Haller, Coach Hawkins, Meredith Henderson, Thomas Hernandez, Greg Holiday, Henry Howard, Kay Huebler, Jimmy Ickiss, Al Johnson, Robin Johnson, Jimmy Kaspar, Bill Kendrick, Brian Knott, Francine Kuehn, Charles Leckel, Professor Lindstrom, Professor Lipaski, Ellen Lipsyte, Professor Martine, Catherine Mason, Sharon May, Carol McAnallan, Mr. McComb, Mrs. McCoy, Paula McDowell, Barbara Mertz, Debbie Miller, Leo Moore, Thomas Morris, Professor Moubray, Dr. Newman, Mark Nichols, Mr. O’Brien, Mrs. O’Brien, Megan O’Malley, Carol Olson, Grandma Olson, Harold Olson, Sara Olson, Joe Pennington, Angela Pirelli, Scott Poor, Bob Potterman, Marie Purdy, Chris Rathburn, Piper Reichman, Steve Rigowski, David Rissman, Mr. Roberts, Dr. Ross, Blinky Rush, Mr. Ryan, Lesley Samaras, Dan Schneider, Claire Sherman, Maud Siegel, Molly Simmons, Cheryl Smith, Tammy Spencer, Debbie Stornant, Rose Stringer, Mrs. Sussex, Mr. Taft, Jane Thompson, Laura Thorp, Mrs. Thorp, Dana Tucker, Ginny Twichell, Amanda VanderMere, David Vaughn, Elizabeth Vogel, Rosa Vostella, Danny Wakowski, Jim Washburn, Dana West, Ted Whipple, Lisa Wilcox, Steven Wilson, Alice Winters, Grandma Winters, Grandpa Winters, Maggie Winters, Miss Workman.

8 comments:

StephenG.Jones said...

yeah, I only remember the fun names in my stuff. too, though, some of my books, people will say something about them and I just do the smile/nod thing too, and find the door. because I have no memory of whatever they're talking about. that's pretty much specifically why I put it down on paper: to get it out of my head.

Maggie said...

I think I know a couple of these people! I'm glad to know that they're also characters. Great post, Michael.

And are the names out of your head, like they are out of SGJ's?

Michael Kimball said...

Yeah, Stephen and Maggie, the thing is, my head is usually in whatever I'm working on, not the thing I finished, sometimes years ago. All those details, it's too much to remember if it's not a main character (Debbie Miller just makes a brief showing).

anne said...

i love this post, michael! and i was going to say more, not about names, but then again, no.

Jessica Anya Blau said...

Very funny DEB-BIE MIL-LER story! I hope she reads this blog. What was her yearbook quote? If I weren't so lazy, I'd get up and fetch my copy of Dear Everybody and look on page 14 . . . 7?

Michael Kimball said...

Thanks, Anne. And feel free to say anything.

Yeah, Jessica. Tell David to tell Debbie.

R. said...

I don't think you wrote Dear Everybody either, it was probably that 'other' Michael Kimball (whose book my brother ordered for me thinking it was you, btw). Maybe Debbie Miller didn't realise that this was a book of fiction. Maybe Debbie Miller was hitting on you, and this was her best pick up line. Maybe... but I think you left out the most important information of all: what type of cake was it?

Michael Kimball said...

Hey R., I'm sorry about that other Michael Kimball. He hasn't published much in 5 or 6 years so he's not as much trouble as he used to be--same name, completely different writers.

The cake, it was carrot cake. I wish I could have some more right now.