Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brainstorming with myself

When the Berlin Wall went up, we were having a "going home" party in the E.M. Club for a friend and fellow Russian linguist. He was supposed to fly home the next day. But immediately we went on war alert, Kennedy gave a speech extending tours, including my friend's -- and my friend went bananas. Totally bananas. Only a great guy and understanding First Sarge saved his ass.

I have another friend who fell in love with a German woman who ended up being a spy and he defected to East Germany. He was a very good mathematician. Always have wondered what the hell happened to him. I think she was his first piece of ass. I went out with her myself, she was trying everybody out, so to speak, before deciding which vulnerable dickhead (literally) to make the move on. She was something else. Day I met her she was in a bar reading Faulkner. Jesus, did she know how to get an American college boy interested. Wonder if they had spy schools for that.

I can combine these two actual experiences into an interesting story line: the buddy, and it will be the narrator's best buddy (though I think I shouldn't do this first person -- the buddy of the protagonist, say. First person may be too restrictive.), does fall in love with the lady but when he discovers she's a spy, he breaks it off. Now, extended and angry, he has second thoughts and has a plan -- to run off with her to Spain. If she's willing to "drop out," he is. He has to ask her, to woo her, at any rate.

Fuck the Cold War, let's live on the beaches of Majorca. So he goes AWOL to find her ... and the buddy, in the chaos of the moment (and boy was it chaotic for a bunch of intellectual ivy leaguers for the most part to be on a war alert!), slips away to find him. So the entire story, after the set up, is a ticking clock, maybe WWIII has started (we all thought so at the time), and in the hunt we can break away for flashbacks about their friendship, the Army, the spies who posed as bar girls, the whole crazy black comedy of the Cold War from the perspective of a company of Russian linguists.

Time to see what a beginning-middle-end diagram looks like.

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