2 For Me and Me for 2:
An Interview with two M. Christians
M.Christian 1: So I’ve finally apprehended you, foul fiend!
M.Christian 2: What the hell are you talking about? I caught you!
MC1: There’s no denying it: you’re the wretched scoundrel who’s been impersonating me, writing books under my name, soiling my creative reputation, attempting to profit by using my name –
MC2: Hold it right there, buddy! I don’t know what kind of twisted game you’re playing but you’re the one who’s been copying me, ripping off my name –
MC1: Liar! J'accuse! It is you who have stolen my identity, my very existence, and sought to supplant me as the rightful owner to the life of ‘M.Christian!’
MC2: You’re freaking nuts!
MC1: No, sir, it is you who is the clearly unbalanced one. To even attempt such a reckless and audacious act reveals a tentative grasp of reality.
MC2: Look, you clearly need some kind of professional help: hardcore therapy, some good meds, maybe even a straight jacket. What I don’t get is why you even bothered to try and steal my name. It’s not like I’m a damned Stephen King or anything. I’m not worth very much. Hell, it’s not like you really needed to be me anyway. You’re a crook, okay, but you’re still a damned good writer. I really hate to say it but Me2 is a really good read. If you just hadn’t been so damned stupid to try and take my name away from me, you might have been able to make a real one for yourself.
MC1: Devil! Miscreant! How contemptible you are. How arrogant! Not only do you attempt the theft of my existence but now you play the game of mock sincerity and even praise your own impersonation. Well, sir, I think that the evidence of your crime is written on the very pages you try to pass off as my work. Agreed, the novel Me2 is the work of a writer with no small amount of talent but it is clearly not a subject matter that I, the true and real M.Christian, would ever create. For example, just look at the following text featured on the back of the current edition: “He looks just like you. He acts exactly like you. He takes away your job. He steals your friends. He seduces your lover. Every day he becomes more and more like you, pushing you out of your life, taking away what was yours … until there’s nothing left. Where did he come from? Robot? Alien? Clone? Doppelganger? Evil twin? Long lost brother? A shocking new view of queer identity, Me2 is a groundbreaking and wildly twisted novel that you’ll remember for a long time – no matter who you are, or who you think you may be.” That, sir, is not a book that the real M.Christian would ever deem to write.
MC2: Forget the pills and straight jacket, it’s a nice rubber-walled accommodation for you, buddy: you’re the one who wrote the damned book. But one thing you’re right about, Me2 sure isn’t something I would write. Sure it’s got a real interesting theme and all: existence, identity, the horror of losing who you are, of not only being replaced by a copy but even one who does a better damned job of living your life than you ever could. Yeah, it’s got an interesting and very readable style, even though it’s dealing with a lot of weird crap, but it sure isn’t something I would do.
MC1: Again you distort the truth of the situation. Curse you, impostor! I have worked for too many years to build up what I can only hope is a moderately respected literary career only to have to try to co-opt all my hard-won successes for your nefarious ends. I will fight you with every fiber of my being, thief! I am the one and the only M.Christian. I am the author of more than 400 short stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, and many, many other fine publications. Only I am the editor of 20 anthologies such as The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (both Mammoth books with Maxim Jakubowksi), and Confessions, Garden of the Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant). I, and I alone, am the author of over nine collections – including Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy Boys – and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Brushes, and Finger's Breadth. You, sir, can never take that away from me!
MC2: God, you are a complete and total fruitloop, aren’t you? You’d have to be to sit there and rattle off my writing credits as yours. I tell ya if you weren’t such a 98-pound weakling, I’d be tempted to drive you into the ground like a tent peg. But since you are, I’m just going to keep reminding myself that you’re a little loose, brain-wise, and try not to take you too seriously. For God’s sake you don’t need to pretend to be me to get your name out there. Like I said, Me2 is a damned good book. Take the way you knock out all the usual explanations -- robot, alien, clone, doppelganger, evil twin, long lost brother – and offer up a totally unique explanation, and then totally screw with the idea of who the main character is. I tell you, I hate to say this, but it was quite brilliant. And then there’s the way you use humor as well as horror … you don’t need to pose as me: you could be right up there with me (if I’m even ‘up there’ to begin with) with a little work.
MC1: Is there no end to your infamy? Is there no depth to your depravity? How contemptible you are to stand there and claim to be the one, true, original M. Christian and then to compliment yourself for the work that you, yourself, created! The audacity! Beyond the insult to my person, however, is the loathing I feel for you for what you have done, in my name, to people I thought I could claim to be friends, associates .. people I respected. How did you manage to deceive so many people that you were myself? People who were not familiar with me or my work I could understand but to trick such luminaries as Felice Picano and Michael Thomas Ford … that is beyond fraud, bordering on evil criminality. Just look at what you tricked them into writing about this book you have written under my name. Lisabet Sarai, of Incognito and Fire fame says: “Absolutely brilliant. M. Christian explores the meaning of identity and humanity in a generic world where literally everything can be manufactured -- a world frighteningly like our own.” Art & Sex in Greenwich Village author Felice Picano writes: “Me2 is a unique and always entertaining fable-novel about what exactly identity may entail and how we may or may not decide whether it's worth the price of keeping it.” Mari Adkins contributing editor, Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest, says “M. Christian has a delightful, marvelously twisted way with words which cause his narratives to crawl beneath your skin and fester there, making you go back for more. He writes with a strong, unique voice which is not only entertaining but also makes you think, makes you ponder the improbable. You'll think you've read this delicious, fast-paced story, but did you? Or was it you?” And Full Circle and Changing Tides author Michael Thomas Ford writes "With delicious slyness, M. Christian creates a world in which the familiar becomes sinister and the comfort of daily routine is replaced by a growing sense of dread. His modern parable lays bare the all-too-real dangers inherent in the sacrifice of individuality in the pursuit of cultural homogenization.” I say again, and with heightened furor: how dare you, sir!
MC2: Okay, that’s it. I’ve had enough of you … you … damned copycat.
MC1: Is this it then? Are you so cowardly you resort to brute antagonism, simple violence?
MC2: You damned well started this – but I’m gonna finish it.
MC1: Unhand me, I say! I warn you, Sir, I was quite the pugilist in my day. Do not force me to defend myself.
MC2: Put ‘em up, you thief!
MC1: Have at you, sir!
MC1: You leave my mother out of this, reprobate!