No, I’m not a professor of Literary Studies from UBC. I’m not Tom Cruise, Britney Spears or Kim John-il. I’m not any of the people I’ve claimed to be in previous posts. But I have these people inside of me. 
   I suffer from MPS, multiple personality syndrome and I’ve found that by giving a different person inside of me a platform each day, I’ve reasserted control over my life and now when I’m opening a checking account for somebody or giving them advice regarding RRSP’s, I don’t suddenly tell them that I’m the only person that can open a chequing account for them because I’m a Christian Scientist or that I’m grateful they are giving me, the Supreme Leader of All things, their money. There have been some embarrassing moments in the past but they are behind me because the Tom Cruise and Kim Jong-il inside me now have a voice.
    Here’s a mass email that one of the people inside of me was busy sending out to hundreds of people last week….

Be My Official Biographer !!

to:  sneill@hotmail.com, sneilly@hotmail.com, sneilly002@hotmail, sneilly00069@hotmail.com, samneilly@hotmail.com, sammyneilly@hotmail.com, sammydneilly@hotmail.com, sammydneillynaily@hotmail.com, sammydneillynellynervous@hotmail.com, sammydneillynellynervous1@hotmail.com sammydneillynellynervous5766869@hotmail.com

from: Yanick Oldham


     To signal his acceptance of Jame Knowlson as his official biographer, Samuel Beckett wrote: To biography of me by you its yes. To apply Occam’s razor, I would like to say:
     Ditto me you to.
     I’m writing in order to suggest that you be my official biographer. “What is there to write ? I don’t even know you !” I hear you saying but that’s where I come in. Over the course of several emails I will write all about my life in a very open and candid way. Your job is to find patterns and themes which you will tease out from my emails and then it will be your turn to email me with questions about unexplored aspects of my life. (Hint: My dislikes are dogs, the color blue and cleaning metal objects. I don’t know why. ) 
   My life has been an ornate series of anecdotes, like a series of lights or bobbles around a Christmas tree (Yes I love decorating living things.) and it will be very easy for you to write my biography which in a sense will write itself. For example, one of my earliest childhood memories consists of trying to memorize the information in the World Book Encyclopedias that were relegated to the corner of the living room, right behind the lazy-boy. I must have been around six or seven and my reading was improving on a daily basis. I often used the books to make ramps for my little match-box cars. Sometimes I would look at the map of Canada or the human body with the clear plastic pages overtop. Each page added something to the foundation. (Hint: read some Michael Ondaatje before writing about this. I think his style would be nicely suited to teasing out the symbolism of this childhood memory.) 
    One Saturday afternoon, I pulled the extremely large volume of A off the shelf and took it to the floor. (“the way a wrestler might take down a mighty opponent” – a suggested line, do with it what you will.) I opened up the book and read the first entry. “A” the first letter in the roman alphabet, etc. etc. I knew that much so I read on: abbey, a place of religious retreat where abbots congregate. That afternoon I read through the first couple of pages of that encyclopedia under my own volition !!  My father had bought the encyclopedias for my three sisters who were much older than me. None of them went on to study past high school but here I was at the innocent age of six or seven reading through the encyclopedia. I felt a greatness looming in my future. (Hint: in describing this part, try to find an old set of encyclopedias from the early 70’s. Put these on your lap while you write about this episode and describe the texture of the books. They had a rugged feel, so different from the smooth knowledge within.)  I told myself that I would memorize everything within the pages of the World Book Encyclopedia.
  The following Saturday, I opened A once again and realized that (note: this will be the sad part of my biography) I’d forgotten almost everything I’d previously studied with such care. I started with Abbey again and made it as far as the previous weekend. This pattern went on for years until I finally gave up. 
  What’s remarkable about this story is that a six or seven year old would have such lofty ambitions. Yes, they were beyond his reach but he didn’t give up (he didn’t give up for two or three years.) “The Accidental Genius” is one possible title for the biography but I will leave that up to you.
   I have many other stories like the one above and if you should choose to be my official biographer you’ll not only entertain and enlighten the world but you’ll also have first dibs on all this wonderful material yourself. How do I know that you won’t run off and use my words to write your own autobiography ? I trust you. I trust your instincts as a writer and as a moral human being.
    Please email back if you’re interested and because this is such a unique opportunity as well as the fact that it’s taken me such a long time to find you, I have to ask that you send me a cheque for 25 dollars along with a précis of the direction you see the biography going in. I will choose the person who is most capable of handling the material that is my life.  A very serious undertaking.
   Because my life and goals are so infused with creativity at every turn, I will ask that the last chapter of the biography be about you. You can write about the way that you came across my offer in an email and how delighted you were and then how worried you were (worried that you weren’t up to the task) and then how you finally mustered up the courage to mail me that 25 dollar cheque and précis. This will conclude the biography with a very post-modern kind of twist along with an acknowledgment of the powers of the Internet.
   I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards, 
Yanick
    

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