Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Technically, I'm breaking my New Year's Resolution by posting about you-know-who, but since this email exchange dates from late December, I'm going to post it. It kinda sums things up. As I said before, if Ken stops telling lies about me, I'll stop telling the truth about him. With any luck, in 2006, JUST ANOTHER POV will be Ken-free. Read from the bottom up. My anonymous friend's comments are in blue type:

Re: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig")

Scary. Sad. To have been blessed with such intelligence and to have once exhibited such promise, and to plunge to such depths now. He never figured out to keep it all balanced, between booze and bad brain wiring.

Re: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig")

Ken was a semi - celebrity in the sixties, when he was writing and tending bar in the Village, hanging with people like Larry Rivers and (then) Leroi Jones. His play, "The Brig", brought him instant success and acclaim. It was nominated for a Pulitzer, along with plays by Jones and Edward Albee, but for some reason the committee didn't give out the award that year. He taught playwriting at Yale Drama School and writing at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop without having a college degree. He received all kinds of honors and awards, including a Rockefeller AND a Guggenheim grant - all before he was thirty. It's been downhill ever since. He is spectacularly self-destructive, and something of a drama queen. He watches himself disintegrate and takes a certain perverse pleasure in it, even as he histrionically bemoans his fate. It's that schizzy writer thing of his. He's on both sides of the mirror. He now has no idea what's real and what isn't. Not only does he live in his head, everybody else does, too - including about a dozen versions of me. He has no friends. No one to love him and grow old with him. As for me, I'm lucky we didn't get physically involved. I adored him. I would have stood by him and he would have taken me down with him. Ken has much to regret. He once had immense gifts, movie star looks and a way with the ladies. All gone now. He lives hand to mouth, and like so many old people, he's two weeks from welfare. The young screenwriter who tooled around Hollywood in a Jag and a Porsche is now a seventy year old pizza delivery man navigating a twenty year old Mazda through Brooklyn traffic.

Subject: Re: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig")

Whew, thank God he won't travel. I sure hope this isn't the same Ken Brown who was a slightly famous artist in the 70s. I used to buy every T-shirt and postcard he made. For instance, he did one of Amos and Andy, where Amos was from the TV show but Andy was Andy Warhol.

Subject: Re: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig")

True, but in Ken's case, his illness has made him a virtual (no pun intended) recluse. He delivers pizzas from Lento's, an old, established pizza restaurant in Bay Ridge, which is located just a few blocks away from his apartment. He hasn't seen or heard from his grown children in decades, and has no idea where they are. He has alienated all his friends. He's alcoholic and psychotic and he might very well shoot me if I showed up on his doorstep, but there is no way he's gonna come to New Jersey. He's staying on his side of the bridge.

Subject: Re: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig") It's scary to think of falling love with someone who could be so sick and so vicious, given the platform provided by the net

Subject: Re: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig") XXXX, you are extraordinarily perceptive. I haven't told you the worst things about him - because, unlike him, I believe private conversations and communications should remain private. But Ken's public posts reveal him for who he is. He is more than disturbed, he is deranged. By the time I figured that out I was already madly in love with him. He reached out to me, then decided I was several people and demonized me. Long story. He "hears voices" and refuses to go on medication, because he's a writer and it would interfere with his "creativity". Meanwhile his life is a shambles and he hasn't published anything in years.

Subject: RE: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig")

Protect your heart, Connie. Though this internet dating came along after I was married, it seems like an easy yet potentially dangerous way to hook up. He sounds like one very disturbed pizza delivery guy. I'd think twice before sending out for pizza again

Subject: The Nut Job Who Used To Be Ken Brown ("The Brig")

Haven't heard a word out of him lately, and I've got my fingers crossed. Actually, Ken's much worse than an internet stalker. If that were all there was to it, I'd delete his email. The thing is, he no longer writes to me, he writes about me - and posts on public websites. He's been doing this for two years. His posts are very persuasive. He's a professional writer. Or was, before mental illness and alcoholism destroyed his career and his life. Very sad. The fact that I am now countering with my own posts seems to have made him think twice about continuing to flame me. The man is crazy but he's not stupid. Thanks for the well-founded concern!