The joy I feel when writing is wonderful, but it doesn’t hide the fact that my stats page is currently giving me the middle finger. Seriously – the middle finger.
This really bothers me because as long as I can remember, ever since I was a little child, I have always wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be an astronaut, an actress, a dancer, singer, underwater mermaid, the Star Trek princess, and (during senior level Medieval Literature class) a beer-toting, hip swinging, lute playing Bard named Barbara.
History is full of genius writers who never received the praise due them. I will not pretend false modesty. I do not want to be an overlooked genius – a Tesla of words confined to a remote cottage, hunched over a 1950’s style typewriter, breathing in ink and onion skin dust, eschewing social contact in favor of the all encompassing muse, drinking bitter tea and basically living like a reclusive mountain witch – brewing concoctions only very brave climbers would dare drink.
It is at this point I have to pause, turn away from my computer, and contemplate the words above. I do live in a remote cottage and am somewhat cut off from human contact due to dedication to my muse, but I would prefer a little more recognition, fame, or praise than that which is currently bestowed upon me by the middle finger on my stats page. As Oscar Wilde said, “There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
Which reminded me of the saying, “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” One might not have been born with genius, but with hard work and a little bit of talent, genius can be created. I think this type of determination was handed down to me by Sister O’Callaghan. Or I might have made it up on my own. Either way – I then knew of two solutions: I could either light a candle at church or go to the library.
I went to the library.
Walking down the aisles, I breathed in all the healthy old book smells which are created by powerful book nutrients. It’s a smell good feeling akin to walking through a bakery. It works like this: glue, dust, and paper mix with the oxygen in the air to create the warm aroma associated with knowledge. This aroma is indicative of strong antioxidant-like properties known to prevent ignorance. These book nutrients are more powerful than other antioxidants in their ability to prevent disease.
If you are asking yourself why you’ve never heard of these powerful disease preventing nutrients, I will tell you scientists discovered them long ago. They feared a society of smart and informed people where science would be practiced by everyone, everywhere – creating a Utopian society. This fear, mixed with desire for power, led to the creation of a secret society in which scientists hid their knowledge within the rituals they would enact during their secret society meetings. Lastly, they created ice cream and comedy sitcoms for our distraction. It’s all a conspiracy.
On one of the shelves in the library, I found the book, “Understanding English,” by Paul Roberts – a wise crack English professor. In calling him a wise crack I mean to compliment him. I knew immediately by its yellowing pages that Sister O’Callaghan would approve. I could even see her dove-like smile underneath her freshly starched and ironed habit. She nodded and said, “‘Tis a good book for readin’.” We crossed ourselves. I carried the favorable work of linguistic science to the librarian’s desk as Ave Maria rang out from the balcony. Light streamed through pane glass windows, reflecting off my halo. I held the book close to my heart.
After checking out the book, I went home, read it entirely, and used my new-found knowledge to write an ingenious work of art.
But I couldn’t do that, yet – not at all – because I was suddenly very, very hungry. I began to crave my Granny’s spaghetti and meatballs, which reminded me of my Italian Papa, which reminded me (for some strange and completely random reason) of the Godfather, which might explain how I found myself marching straight up to the librarian’s desk with Mario Puzo’s classic work of American Italian Mafia fiction. Setting the book down on the librarian’s desk created a chain of events – a domino effect – which could not be altered.