Autobiography of Adam Carlin – Chapter 1: Ground Rules

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Fiction
Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t know what you’ve heard about the circumstances surrounding my birth, but if it’s anything like what I’ve heard, we need to talk. Well, I’ll talk and you listen. Actually, I’ll write, you read. Most of what has been published, presented and preached as the ‘gospel’ truth regarding my life is, well, let’s just say it ain’t something those four dudes in the New Testament might consider worthy of their gospels. Then again, who really knows if the stories they wrote about the cuspy days of B.C.E./A.D. are anywhere near the truth? Who even knows if they wrote what we think they wrote? Even if they did write what we think they wrote you gotta admit a lot of it sounds like so much kaflooey. All those miraculous healings everywhere Jesus went and the multiplying of fish and loaves resulting in enough food to feed the mudhens at Woodstock (the original, not those bastardizations of the late 20th century). Quite the tales! If half that stuff is true it’s actually quite amazing they (Roman, Jew, wandering minstrels. Take your pick.) didn’t nail Jesus long before they did, what with the highly superstitious nature of people during that time. Maybe they did. Maybe John, Luke and the boys got their dates and times mixed up. They had no calendars with kittens or horses or Girls of the Southwest to help them along. It could have been a simple, honest error or misjudgment. I can see how it would be easy to lose track of the number of sunrises, sunsets and full moons. “Was this the 22nd or 23rd day since the last full moon? And how many full moons have there been? Damn, do we still have to rely on old Jedidah to keep the dates straight? The man hasn’t said a comprehensible word in 42 moons…or is it 43?” So believing those long ago scribbled and repeatedly translated words is a mighty test of faith to be certain. Faith – there’s a can of worms waiting to be unleashed.

Anyway, concerning my birth and the circumstances surrounding it: What I’ve read varies from source to source, all of it falling somewhere in between ludicrous and utter nonsense. Consider this passage from a recent biography of yours truly:

Adam Carlin’s undignified entry into this world hardly spoke of what was to come. Spawned the bastard son of a rogue bishop and a morphine-addled hooker, Carlin was born in a low-grade bordello off the French Quarter during the eye of the worst hurricane Louisiana had seen in 100 years. Other than his mother, the only people who witnessed his birth were James Pittman, an alcoholic doctor who tended to the bordello’s private and more pressing matters, and Violet DeRioux, the house Madam. Carlin came out with his hair already a fiery bright red, kicking and screaming so loudly that the mayor, who was busy in the next room, pounded on the wall telling them to shut up.

Ain’t that nice? So sweet to have your parents depicted like that. Makes me feel all gooey inside. Since my mother, my alleged father and the two witnesses are long since dead – and dead before I reached whatever level of national curiosity I have reached – it’s a mystery how the biographer came to this conclusion. (Not to pick on him because he’s no worse than the others, but the biographer in this case is some chap from Australia named Steve Kidman. I understand why people write books about me, not that I’d willingly buy one, but I understand why they do. The only reason I’m writing a book about me is that, given what has actually happened in my life and what has been purported to happen in my life, it is important people know the facts as they are, not as so many imagine – or want – them to be. Then again, when it gets down to it, does anyone really give a shit?)

Now I’m assuming most of you are reading this book because you’ve heard something about me, my story, my impact on whatever it is I’ve impacted and/or my weird life, and are looking to either:

a) Verify what you think you know to reach a better understanding of the so-called ‘Carlin Phenomenon’
b) Gain additional insight into what makes me tick, a really scary reason to continue
c) Find more ways to skewer me and thus put my proverbial head up on the proverbial spike in the middle of the proverbial town square so the proverbial townsfolk can spew their proverbial bile at my proverbial lifeless skull
d) Kill time before the next rerun of The Simpsons

Those are all valid reasons to be reading this book, this account, this story of Adam Carlin. But I don’t want you to waste your time. Truly, I don’t. So let’s lay some ground rules right upfront, manage your expectations.

In order to fully appreciate this tale of one person’s life, a person no better or worse than most, you need to understand a few things, most of them blindingly obvious, but then again blindingly obvious is on the shelf with common sense – usually not so blinding nor so common.

First, everything is subjective and open to interpretation, especially memory. When it comes to remembering who starred in what movie or what the lyrics are to that Nirvana song (you know, the teen spirit one) or in what year the Titanic sank or any number of things, I am not the person you should turn to. However, when it comes to remembering who was the first girl I kissed or when was the first time I landed in jail or the circumstances surrounding that stabbing incident in Pittsburgh, I think my remembrance of those events is decidedly more accurate than someone who spoke with someone who knew someone somewhere who was once a friend of an casual acquaintance of mine back in the day. So yes, memory is subjective, but if nothing else, please realize the memory of the one recounting the specific memory, provided they are being honest, is generally your best source. Yep, I know, very obvious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Second, truth is relative, but honesty is not. Honesty is separate and distinct from truth, dontcha know. Truth is what it is. I am in no mood to plow through some long philosophical discussion about truth and the meaning of truth and what is truth and how can we sure that what we think is truth is actually truth. I’m not a Logician, don’t claim to be. Maybe I’m more of a Pragmatist. Don’t know, don’t much care. I’m not really into attaching labels to people, although there are people who can clearly be labeled as evil. There’s truth in that. Asides from that, in truth, philosophical discussions are headache inducing, whether they are about truth or not.

Honesty is a different assortment of monkeys. There’s not much to discuss when it comes to honesty. Either someone tells you something and they’re being honest, as in that’s what they actually felt or what they actually experienced, or they’re not. Not much gray area there. I deal in honesty. I’ll leave truth to the late night skull sessions at underground dens of intellect where the discussions are usually accompanied by hard drinking. This book is honest. That’s the truth. Oops, sorry. Rather, trust me, I’m being honest.

Third, times and dates get fuzzy as we age. I don’t know about you, but the days seems to blur together at such a dizzying rate that I can not be sure what day of the week it is, much less on what date and at what time I did something. To avoid the inevitable ‘checking of the facts’ followed by the finger-pointing and “Ah-ha, he’s lying!” I am going to strip the calendar from this book. It all happened. I just can’t always be sure of the sequence. And the sequence often doesn’t matter, unless you’re talking about bowling. Then it greatly matters. If something in this book appears out of sequence and it appears that the sequence is relevant to whatever is being written, I’ll pop in a disclaimer. I like “Fuzzy Sequence Alert”. When you see those words you are advised to recall what I just wrote above. (It’s “Fuzzy Sequence Alert” in case it already slipped your mind.) You know, you might as well bookmark this page for future reference, just to be on the safe side.

All I can promise you is this: these are the actual facts jack story of Adam Carlin – the real deal with all the Page Six stuff, the garbage you never heard about unless you were one of the people involved, the corny hijinks that would embarrass any adult and the dark unsavory moments which my publisher insisted I include before handing over an advance. You can stop now before being completely sucked into the swirling vortex of my life. Simply close the book and hand it to the next stranger you see. But you’re not going to do that, are you? You’ve already bought the damn thing.

Hey, you had your chance.

  1. Great fun here, John. Please keep at it. You’e the makings of something here…


  2. John says:

    The bar has to be raised. I can’t limbo like I once could!


  3. This was incredibly entertaining, but then that is what you do! You just keep raising the bar.


  4. Write a book. Please. Thanks.


  5. kayjai says:

    Very impressive…


  6. That was good! I got distracted by a wandering kid for a sentence or two, and then got lost and thought “I thought his name was John!” It was great!


  7. whiteladyinthehood says: have many doors in that mind of yours that you open just enough for us to take a peek in…and thats the truth – if I’m honest..


  8. sparklebumps says:

    Yes, please write a book. You write just enough to get me into it, and then stop. Just like a man. 😉


  9. I received the 7×7 Link Award which means I have to pass it along. You were one of the first people I thought of! So Merry Christmas! Oh yeah, there are things you’re supposed to do. You can read my post and figure it out. Did I say Merry Christmas?


  10. […] Trask Avenue. John at Trask Avenue was my first subscriber. I don’t know how he found my blog, but I am so happy that he did. His writing is eloquent, evocative and often deeply moving. He inspires envy in this aspiring writer. H.E.Ellis. H.E. or Hellis as she is sometimes called was another early subscriber to my blog. I am so grateful that she found me, otherwise I never would have found her. Her SPaM promotions of other bloggers have led me to other wonderful bloggers. She is a gifted writer, too, with one book under her belt. I’ve read her book and it is terrific. Eggton. I’m a new reader of her blog. She is terrific. She combines a comical blog post with a yummy recipe. My mouth waters just reading her posts. NotQuiteOld. Nancy is another wonderful writer. Her slice of life stories and remembrances of her youth always warm my heart. The Idiot Speaketh. Mark, AKA The Idiot, keeps me laughing with his tales of family, practical jokes and adventures out and about. Sparklebumpsthebookwhore. What’s a Sparklebumps, you ask? She’s a book whore, a Pizza Slut (her words), feisty, fearless and fun. Edward Hotspur. Ah, you know I couldn’t leave you out, Mr. Hotspur. His stream-of-consciousness writings, poetry, short stories and interactive adventures will make you laugh or cry or  say, ‘WTF?’ He is bizarrely brilliant or brilliantly bizarre. He also wrote a book which I bought earlier today because I know it will be terrific. […]


  11. I’ve said it before, you need to write a book. This is great. I especially like the “fuzzy sequence alert” paragraph. Another envy inspiring post!


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