“Eve, tell her to stop barking at me. She always barks at me when I come down to dinner.”
“Hey, Aussie, silly dog, don’t bark at Bernie, he’s a Zen master.”
“Lookth funny to me.”
“You should have seen him when he had no hair.”
“He’th a man. I don’t trutht men.”
“Neither do I. But do you hear me barking at them?”
“I wouldn’t trutht thith one for a minute. Thomething really crazy there.”
All my life I’ve heard voices, and I’ve believed them.
My mother used to tell me, You live in a dream world, you don’t live in the real world. Then came Zen, which said that even the real world is a dream world, so I stopped worrying.
The same is true for stories. When I first started writing stories a long time ago I’d wag my finger and tell myself: Write your stories, but don’t believe them. Don’t ever believe them, ever, ever, ever.
For the rest of my life I’ve believed my stories.
It’s not just dogs that capture the voices in my head, other things do, too. When it’s people that capture the voices in my head is when I get confused. For example, Bernie has been speaking loud and clear to me since 1985 and I’m still not sure whose voice it is: His? Mine?
“So what’s your voice, Aussie?”
“I don’t know. I gueth I’ll find out.”
“Aussie, do you have a lisp?”
“Of course I have a lithp, I’m from Texath, ain’t I.”
“I think you’re becoming a voith-carrier, Aussie. I mean a voice-carrier.”
“Ith that a good thing?”
“Of course it’s a good thing, Aussie. There’s nothing wrong with any voice. The world is one big universal choir, and in that choir you are never out of tune, never too high-pitched or low-pitched, you are always singing perfectly.”
“Thankth. Can I loth the lithp now?”
“Lose the lisp, Auss? I just told you, there’s no problem.”
“If thereth no problem, I want to loth the lithp.”
“You’re cute with a lisp, Aussie.”
“I don’t want to be cute. I want to loth the lithp. Now.”