You Can Make It Up: Dustin Diamond Works On His Memoirs

Dustin Diamond sat with his back to the typewriter, not wanting to confront the spiritual horror of the blank page. He tamped another thumbfull of tobacco into his pipe, unbuttoned his cardigan, and kicked his feet up onto an antique ottoman that had been a gift from Phillip Roth after the two had gone on a three week Absinthe bender in Prague. He looked out on the cold hearted plains and took a sip from his single malt scotch. The writer’s life was a lonely one indeed, he ruminated to himself. To distill the poetry of existence into a readable prose, that was the alchemy that slipped even from Merlin’s hands. Dustin Diamond shook his head, blew out a smoke ring, and sighed. “OK, Papa Bear,” he said to the night sky, “guide me in this quest.”

An Ella Fitzgerald record played scratchily in the background, setting the mood. Diamond lit a candle and carried it back to his desk. He sat for a few minutes, sipping his drink and tracing the outlines of a coffee ring, still dreading the mortal terror of a first sentence. He knew, as a professional writer with an impossibly complex syntax and Websterian vocabulary, that once he started it would be the opening of poetic floodgates, his life spilling onto the page like the ichor of Zeus. But that first sentence, that was the trick. How to begin such a journey? Diamond looked up with pleading eyes to a photo of Hemingway, his literary lodestone, which sat next to the typewriter, taunting as much as it inspired. “Please, Papa Bear,” he whispered. “Lend me your strength.”

Diamond placed his fingers on the sturdy keys, which pushed back, as if daring him to fail. He stared at the white page, which burned him like a sword left too long in a forge. He wanted to scream out with soul pain. And yet, suddenly, his hands began to work, as if imbued with some kind of sorcery. He typed! He typed!

“So, I used to be on this show called Saved by the Bell.”

His heart cried out. Eureeka! Diamond could feel that he was onto something indeed. His hand trembled as he lifted the smoky golden elixir to his lips. He wished for the courage he’d need, but knew that he already had it. It was he. Nothing could stop him now. His fingers flew like noble birds.

“It was so crazy to be on that show, I have to tell you. It was a really popular show, and everyone on it got really famous, but we were just kids. It was crazy. Lots of crazy stuff happened you’re not going to believe. I wanted to write this book to share with you all the crazy wild stories I have from when I was on Saved by the Bell.

Chapter One: Lisa”

All through the night, Diamond worked, unaware of time or fatigue. He wrote because that is what his soul demanded. He wrote because that was the only thing he knew to do other than die. Dustin Diamond wrote.