For the purposes of this exercise, Christian A. Dumais will be played by the writer. The dogs, Dudikoff and Commissioner Gordon, will play themselves and are contractually obligated to do their own stunts. The writer always had a bedroom or a living room that happened to have a desk, but he never had a room that was exclusively an office until last year. Because of this, the writer did most of his writing at any Starbucks within reach for over 15 years. The writer would sit in the corner with his laptop, drinking a caramel frappuccino – the drink of choice for serious writers – and compose his art with dramatic typing gestures and well-timed sighs of discontentment. People who saw him would drink their coffees and pretend to have a nice time with their friends, all the while secretly resenting the writer for being so incredibly awesome. Some people, overcome by jealously, would complain to the management about the writer’s lack of pants.
The writer’s wife bought him this office plaque for the door. The writer was sure to screw the plaque into the door, damaging it permanently so that the room could never be anything but an office. But the writer imagines that because the office is located on the top floor of his home, there may come a time when he will be unable to climb the stairs to his favorite room. The writer isn’t getting any younger. Perhaps then the office will become a different room, such as a secret headquarters for a thrifty super- hero, or inspiration for Tommy Wiseau to create a new masterpiece, or maybe not be a room at all, but instead blossom into a hall or an open space. The writer hopes the room will be able to achieve all of its dreams.
The writer’s office is located next to their library. He can’t imagine writing without having books around. There is a reading chair in the corner, but it’s usually taken by one of the dogs (today Commissioner Gordon has commandeered the chair). On the other side of the room is the writer’s exercise bike where he looks sweaty and ridiculous for up to 30 minutes a day. Luckily, he only looks ridiculous for the remainder of the day. Unless, of course, it’s summer, then the writer is both sweaty and ridiculous all of the time.
This is the entrance. Since the room has a slanted ceiling, the writer put up some Spaced Invaders decals, as you naturally do. On the heater on the left, you’ll see one of the writer’s Hulk hands that he uses to get into Drunk Hulk’s head. Unfortunately, all bottles of liquor are not located in the office, as kindly suggested by the writer’s legal team.
On the shelf in the corner are some books, a Hulk mask, an Alex Ross Superman statue, and the Key to Hell from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. These books are either important or are there because the writer recently read them and will probably return to them shortly. Classical Mythology in Literature, Art and Music is pretty much the best book on the subject he’s ever read (and a gift from his father, who bought it to ensure that the writer wouldn’t steal his copy). The copy of Stardust is not only autographed by Gaiman, he drew a picture too. That’s an original first edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. Donald Barthelme’s 40 Stories is the closest thing the writer has to a Bible. And Daniel Z. Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword and House of Leaves are too important to sit so far away from the writer at any given time.
The writer has two laptops because he’s a very important person. And very important people have many laptops. Actually, the big one is used mostly for writing and is currently threatening to give up the ghost. The smaller laptop is for Twitter and other distractions. The writer could use the bigger computer for Twitter and other distractions, which only encourages it to turn off by itself at the most inopportune moment. See how needlessly complicated that was? So it’s easier to tell others that the writer is an important person.
Over the desk is the writer’s White Board of Impending Doom, which helps to keep him organized. The diagram on the left is actually an outline for the book he’s working on, but the book would like you to know that it’s not really interested in what the outline says. In fact, one could argue that the book has its own agenda and the outline is simply there for the writer to feel clever. Also of interest is his number one rule for writing: Just fucking write! By the way, the writer’s office is actually this clean and organized normally. Don’t open the drawers though. They appear to be owned by a different writer.
Dudikoff has stepped in to do a dramatic reenactment of the writer at work. Please note: the writer is never this sexy when writing in real life. Plus, if you look closely, you can see Max hiding by the tree.
Here is the writer’s desk from a different angle. Dudikoff and Commissioner Gordon would like you to know that they remained still for two whole seconds so that the writer could get this shot and feel they deserve a treat of some kind.
Here is the far wall of the office. In the corner, you’ll notice a small TARDIS, a gift from the writer’s wife. The writer is proud of his little TARDIS, but admits that he’s envious of Joe Hill’s TARDIS, which is much bigger and is used more often. He tells himself to stop comparing TARDIS’s, and sometimes he’s content enough to let it go, but most times he just falls back to sleep on his tear soaked pillow. You can also see the writer’s Wall of Crazy, a collection of Post-it notes relating to his PhD work. To the random observer, it probably won’t make a lot of sense, but the writer assures everyone that it does make sense. He’s certain of it. However, when the police finally catch on, this wall will be turned into the Wall of Evidence.
Christian A. Dumais is the author of Empty Rooms Lonely Countries and the creator behind Twitter’s @DRUNKHULK. Yes, he does know what the Caps Lock is, thanks. He lives in Poland with his wife and two dogs. He’s currently writing a novel. And he enjoys baking pies when no one is looking. He would like to thank Third Person for making this biography possible to write.
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