Heads You Lose

A Novel

By Lisa Lutz + David Hayward

From our Blog

My Valet

I’ll be honest: Dave and I ran out of new things to say about each other sometime last summer. We’ve been running on steam and the occasional tall tale ever since. But in the interest of book promotion and because it’s here, we’d sort of like to keep this blog going. And because it’s not on my personal website (www.lisalutz.com for all the latest Lutz news that doesn’t involve a certain coauthor), I am contractually required to write something that relates to the Lutz/Hayward collaboration in some capacity. So, this month, I thought I would address a question that was asked of me on several occasions during our tour.

If you have read HEADS YOU LOSE, you might have noted that Dave comments on my “lifelong obsession with butlers and other menservants.” There is a muddled distinction between the author personas we present in the novel and our real selves. I think it might have been assumed that this comment was a jab at author Lisa, but in fact it is true. Some people dream of having mansions and Rolls Royces, or covet diamonds and Rolex watches. Some people want yachts or to travel the world in first class. Some suckers want to be super-loaded just so they can give all their money away to the poor. Me, I want a valet.

Stop. Before you conjure an image of me lolling about, being served tea and crumpets and refusing to answer doorbells while I bark orders at a well-groomed gentleman in a tux and tails, I must disabuse you of that conceit. My fantasy valet is more along the lines of Sir John Gielgud in Arthur—caring, snide, judgmental, and bossy. However, I would like my valet to stick around a little longer than the 97 min. running time.

My fantasy valet, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Steve Buscemi, would not be required to adorn formal wear or call me Ms. Lutz or Mistress, or anything funny like that. In fact, he’d probably call me Lutz, like all my friends and past P.E. teachers have. What appeals to me about a valet is that there’s a person there all the time, keeping you in check. If I had spinach in my teeth, a coffee stain on my shirt, buttons askew or a black eye from yesterday’s mascara, my valet wouldn’t hesitate to inform me. In fact, my valet would have told me the night before to scrub my face. My valet would instruct me to wake up at a reasonable hour and eat a healthy breakfast. He would take away french fries when I’ve had too many and maybe replace my last cocktail of the night with sparkling water.

Five days a week my valet would order me into my office and tell me to write for at least four hours. I’m pretty sure a lock and one key would be involved. My valet would know if I was on Facebook or Twitter or researching a new disease I might have and he’d put an end to it—not the disease, just the research. On the weekends, he would drag me to at least one cultural event and on Sundays he’d teach me French or Italian or Russian (whatever Steve Buscemi’s second language is).

But, for now, that’s all just a dream. On the record, it’s a real one. I just want to be a better me and I don’t want the responsibility of having to do it all by myself.

Response from David:

You have spinach in your teeth.



Does your mom live nearby?  She should be a shoo-in for the valet!

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