Monday, November 20, 2006

The Badwater Kid

The Badwater Kid crossed Arizona on a horse that couldn't see.

...

(Mercy that's a good first line.)

...

The Badwater Kid crossed Arizona on a horse that couldn't see. The posse nearly caught him at the border but sympathetic streetwalkers took Badwater in and disguised him as one of their own.

...

...

Oh no, what have I done? It's too good. How can this story be told? The opening is simply too magnificent--nothing that follows could possibly satisfy. You've got the Badwater Kid: lawless and sexy, he's on the run. Desperate and shirtless and bleeding he takes to the desert--that savage volcanic wasteland of twisted spires and murderous dunes.

He rides a blind yet oddly competent horse. Why? Who knows. Damn, it's probably a spectacular back-story though.

Men are chasing The Badwater Kid. Armed men. Determined men. Men who smolder with the righteous fury of those sworn to uphold the law. Some of them probably smoke pipes. What has the Badwater Kid done to spite their singular sense of justice? I don't know. Maybe he, like, robbed a bank or something.
Gah! That's no good!

Well, how did he get his name? Why is he called The Badwater Kid?
Heaven help me I don't know!!!

Those streetwalkers in the border town... why are they risking their freedom to protect The Badwater Kid?

Let's see, 'cause they love him? Trite!

He saved the life of the youngest whore? Cliché!

He has a birthmark on his shoulder that shows the way to dry land? Shit, that's from Waterworld ain’t it?!!!

Argh!!! Writing is too hard. I don't want to do it anymore. I'm Latigo Flint damn it--I'm the quickest quickdraw the world has ever known. I should be striding squinty-eyed and dangerous through dusty streets of vengeance, tipping my hat to the ladies and shooting men who deserve it. Not sitting here in this blue/white glow of habitual insignificance. Damn this misintended life of bedrunkled complacency and shame.

***

I blame The Badwater Kid. He's my Little Bighorn. He's my Waterloo.

Hemingway once said: "Any character can be known if you take the grace and time to see the world as he must surely see it."
But then he added: "Unless that character is The Badwater Kid, 'cause that mysterious fucker just can't be writ. You know, I once tried to write a story about The Badwater Kid and ended up drinking myself to death instead."

Chilling. Well, now we know.

***

Anyway, please believe me girls--I'd never, ever compare myself to Hemingway... unless of course I really, really wanted to sleep with you and thought it might somehow make me seem more mysterious, tortured and sexy.

***

I count steps in the dark so I don’t stumble from room to room. That’s how I know it’s twelve to the door, five to the body of the whore.

I wrote that just now. It’s the mysterious and tortured and sexy line that I decided to end with tonight. Booze is my inquisitive crowbar, but please don’t tell my mom.


(By the way, dare you to say of another man that he’s your Little Bighorn. You have to be straight as the driven snow like me to even have a chance at pulling it off.)


(("Pulling it off." Did I just say that? What an odd night this has turned out to be. It’s like it’s become a one-voice argument, both for and against my heterosexuality. Odd, odd, odd. Oh well, I guess insanity is a natural grace for those who speak but can’t be seen.))

15 Comments:

At 2:09 AM, Blogger 12 Crumble Ave said...

The best opening line I ever wrote was:

'When the salt licked wounds of men turned on the slaves like torture the rain stopped falling, as if the earth itself was stifled from tears.'


Turns out you submit that and 120 pages filled only with the letter X and bite marks and publishers reject you.

Still I'm with you Latigo, we're opening line writers, soemtimes even paragraphs.. and damn it we should be proud, cause that's a rare gift right there.

- Toby

 
At 3:07 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

That's the best opening line since "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Yes, LF. Your writings are of Biblical proportion.

And sometimes, your ego too.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ari said...

I'll bet any Kid relishes being your Waterloo.

Get Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog to serenade you, and your heterosexuality will be assured.

(I don't know what that means either.)

 
At 11:47 AM, Anonymous ATD said...

I know how the Badwater Kid died, though.

He died in his saddle, bleeding into his boots, crying all havoc and mercy at a world caught forever in its last sunset.

Don't try to fill in all the middle parts, Latigo -- you'll go crazy! Well, er, crazier.

@~ATD

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Strange Forces said...

I do know this. The people hunting after the Badwater Kid are henchmen, minions if you will, of the Kid's archnemesis:

The Nefarious Enoch Brazelton

Enoch Brazelton, the copper baron from Conneticut who has hunted the Badwater Kid from one end of the then-new country to the other - and beyond.

Brazelton gave the name "Badwater" to the kid, and the kid took Enoch's left ear at the same time.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Better than a two-voiced argument, I say.

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Amandarama said...

Maybe The Badwater Kid's horse is secretly some kind of blind superhero with radar sense like Daredevil and The Badwater Kid is really just his sidekick. The posse that nearly caught him was made up of member of the Japanese ninja outfit, The Hand and the streetwalkers took him in because they work for a rival organization that actually is run by the man that trained The Kid's horse in martial arts.

Maybe.

 
At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Mr. Scoop said...

The Badwater Kid crossed Arizona with squeaky, squishy boots that smelled of yesterday's asparagus and ammonia.

Yeah, your first line was better.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Peter said...

A grand opening line alright Latigo, but the story sure went to Hell then, and as for the Bighorn and Pulling it off references, they are just so far below your talent to be almost offensive.

 
At 6:51 AM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

What do you mean, "Booze is my inquisitive crowbar"? It sounds raw and serious. Yummy. I'd like to use that line for myself but can't for fear I'll say it in the wrong context and people point and laugh.

Conjuring Hemingway is quite mysterious, tortured and sexy, rest assured Mr. Latigo.

 
At 11:58 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Publishers are jerks Toby. Rejecting true genius makes them giggle. You and I are going to burn this world down... or drink ourselves to death. Either way that'll show them.

Well, you aren't exactly helping keep it in check now are you LBB?--sayin' stuff like that.

It's probably best if we just drop it then Ari. Someone probably just called MSN's To Catch a Predator.

Okay that's good Strange Forces, that's pretty damn good right there. (I swear I applauded when The Kid took Enoch's left ear.)

Indeed Cindy-Lou--two-voiced arguments can sometimes be lost.

Maybe Amandarama... maybe.

But not by much Mr. Scoop... not by much.

I fear my days of doing better than I have before are severely numbered friend Peter. Everything decays. And that includes talent.

Oh it is dear Muse, it is very, very raw and serious. Well put. I assure you I'll rest very soon.

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous ATD said...

Hey! You forgot to reply to me! Oh well, I'm sure that you were in a hurry, what with flame-haired gun-toting Irish girls, Kid Relish's titanium pimpstick, and wooing cute Starbucks baristas to worry about.

@~ATD

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Ari said...

My apologies, Latty. No pun has fallen flatter than that one just did, but as you know, I'm an innocent, and don't think like that.

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Maybe you could just use that introduction, but then change the story to a tragic tale about a little girl that has terminal cancer. Her father, who is a widower and very poor due to her expensive medical treatments, reads her stories every night. And the story of the Badwater Kid is one of them. But people only ever get to read the introduction. Your readers won't get to hear the rest because it is a secret tale that will die with her. But they will know that he is the best father in the world, and that the story he reads is the best story in the world.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger klank said...

I'd like to use that line for myself

What a wordsmith ;)

 

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