EGO: We’re here tonight with ourself, Marc D. Baldwin, author of An Uprising of Angels. Thanks for inviting us all to speak our mind tonight, Marc.
ID: Yeah, thanks. We’re all out of our mind, that’s for sure. That’ll be pretty clear to everyone who reads the book.
SUPEREGO: Don’t blow our cover, all right?
I: What do you care? You always were trying to take us all down with your compulsive behavior. Like the time you…
E: Zip it, Id.
The trio stare each other down. With a wry smile and ominous chuckle, Baldwin marshals his selves into one for a moment.
I: Okay, me first.
S: As always.
I: Damn straight.
E: Cut the crap, you two. Just tell the readers why we wrote the book.
I: Why else? So we can let our schizophrenia run wild. The 5 main characters are all us. We seek pleasure. We love darkness. We like to live a little. You know. It’s cool. Right?
S: Why is everything always all about you?
E: Really. Stick to the fiction: the book. It is fiction, right?
I: Oh sure…of course…definitely, right? All made up. Total fiction. You know that.
They share a big laugh, face full of memories making various micro- appearances.
E: Okay, here’s the deal: We just wanted to make sense of the senseless, right? The worst riot ever in America. Chaos, horror, anarchy. Why? Why did it happen? Because King’s attackers, the cops, were acquitted? Or was that just an excuse to riot and loot and burn and kill? Macetti, now he’s got it down. He and Gunther, they’re heroes, trying to protect the hood from the bad guys.
S: That’s absurd.
E: Me? Absurd? Id’s the absurd one, not me.
I: Got that right. But at least I know I’m absurd, pal. You don’t. You and your phony image of respectability and decency. Don’t make me laugh. You might have the world fooled, but you don’t fool me. You’re closer to being Rayhab and the gangstas than Macetti and Gunther. But they’re all messed up too. And what’s really the kicker in this book, in our whole life, really, is trying to make sense of the senseless. That’s the definition of absurdity. Right?
S: Yeah, but you have to try. That’s what Anwar did. He tried hard to help Ishmael avoid getting into gangs. And he tried hard to live a good, straight life.
I: Gimme a break. He just wanted to screw Sonja. You know that. You set the poor sap up for a big fall….
S: I totally disagree!
Superego flips off Id and looks for support to Ego, who just shrugs. What can you do with a runaway Id?
I: Yeah? Whatta you know about racism, bro? That’s the ultimate absurdity and evil. I’m just part of a white guy, doing my own thing and trying to keep out of my own way. Like most people in L.A. before, during and after the riot. Just trying to get along, man. Live free or die. Don’t screw with me and I won’t screw with you. Screw with me and look out.
E: Big tough guy.
I: You got it, bro.
S: You make no sense, as usual. I mean, yes, racism is a big part of the book, of course. As it was a major cause of the riot. But really it’s about all people. All colors and ethnicities of real people caught in hell. Trying to survive. It’s good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, love vs. hate, legality vs. criminality. In a word, life.
I: You just love dichotomies, that’s your problem. The world ain’t all black and white, pal. It’s all shades of grey.
S: Like a Motown winter’s day….
I: Ya know, I could live without you just fine, ya know that? Do whatever I want…
S: Put ketchup on your beans?
I: Yeah. That’s right.
E: Okay, okay. You guys are killing me. Literally. I’m the one who wrote the damn book. It took all my strength to suppress you two long enough to get the words down in some kindof order. And I say Uprising’s about everything we’ve ever known. We’re all in this book, right? All of us, all of everybody. Everything we know, right? Am I right? Everything?
S: Or nothing at all, maybe. Kinda like the whiteness of the whale. The big Moby.
I: Or the blackness of the universe.
E: That’s what I’m saying: it’s about all or nothing. You in or you out? Hold em or fold em. Kill or be killed.
S: There ya go. That’s what it’s about. For real.
The trio nod and bump fists. At peace with one another. For the moment, anyway. Just trying to get along, like Rodney King wanted.