Everyone worked on his or her blog during lunch, writing advance blog posts to give to the Internet late at night after the kids were in bed and the dog was done barking outside. Everyone was in love with the Internet, even though he or she would not have acknowledged it. Much of everyone’s day was spent writing things for it. Everyone was frustrated because he or she did not know what those things should be. Everyone did not have interesting life moments to give to the Internet for his or her blog. This is what everyone needed.
Everyone had been seeking inspiration in cans of Handsome Cola. Handsome Cola was the cheapest diet soda at the gas station convenience store on the corner three blocks from the office where everyone worked. Everyone preferred Popsi Cola, the real stuff, not diet, but everyone was trying to lose weight. Losing weight was essential if everyone was ever again to appeal to his or her spouse. It would be very difficult to wrestle the spouse away from the meaning of life, and everyone needed whatever small advantage he or she could muster. The meaning of life was very persuasive when it came to love. Photos of the meaning of life posted on its blog proved it. In the pictures the meaning of life stood next to thin, happy, smiling people who held cans of Popsi at waist level. It was no wonder that everyone’s spouse had run away. Everyone had taken the spouse for granted, let his or her body drift into some sort of half-inflated balloon state, the skin saggy and punctured.
Everyone was thinking of starting a diet. Everyone had been thinking this for a long while, even before the mate left, like years before, like two months after the wedding. But everyone had had four children with his or her spouse and had assumed that that--that fact--was enough to keep the spouse grounded. Everyone had not counted on the meaning of life showing up.
Everyone’s e-mails to the meaning of life had gone unanswered after the first night everyone had written, having gathered the meaning of life’s contact information from the Internet. The Internet knew every person in the world. Everyone was beginning to think the meaning of life might be playing a trick, that it might not actually know everyone’s spouse as it had claimed.
Maybe it hadn’t even really been the meaning of life. Maybe the true meaning of life was still out there, everyone thought. The meaning of life everyone had written certainly hadn’t been what everyone had expected, except that the meaning of life appeared to be successful and happy, at least in the tone set on its blog.
Everyone decided that as soon as lunch was over--the cheese sandwich and bag of strawberries eaten, the water consumed (everyone had given up even diet soda for the fourth time in three weeks)--he or she would write to the meaning of life from work. In this way, the sender’s e-mail address would be unfamiliar to the meaning of life, and everyone might actually get a response. The meaning of life had responded to comments on its website, which was for sale, so everyone knew that the meaning of life was around. The meaning of life was obviously ignoring everyone’s letters.
Everyone looked at what he or she had written to give to the Internet for the blog this evening and grew despondent. The information conveyed lacked substance. Everyone would have to start from scratch. He or she would have to do it at night, after the kids were in bed and the dog was done barking outside, since lunch was near its end. There were so many ways in which everyone was having to start from scratch, like with his or her body and with love.
Everyone considered what he or she would write to the meaning of life. Everyone would pose as a friend, one of those people in the photographs. He or she would pretend to know the meaning of life, would want a reunion, some advice maybe, or a drink. Everyone would propose a meeting place. Everyone would meet the meaning of life, and everyone would write about it for the blog. Yes! How novel!
Everyone wants you to read the book on which he or she is working, a novel everyone is writing in order to find the meaning of life, with which everyone’s spouse ran off. But everyone has to finish the novel before everyone can know where the novel begins. In the meantime, there are all these distractions, such as the twelfth-floor window at the office building where everyone works out of which people or maybe just one person keeps jumping or falling--everyone isn’t sure--or everyone’s sexy coworker Sam, whom everyone is struggling valiantly against to keep from becoming a paramour. It’s kind of pitiful, actually, the way everyone keeps begging you to read, sending you e-mails, dropping it into conversation (“I have a book, you know?”), posting links to it on social-networking sites. Everyone figures that if he or she begs enough, you will break down and try it. Everyone is like a dog that way, watching you eat your dinner. The way you handle the dog is to push it away from the table, lock it outside the room. Sometimes, of course, you hand the dog a bite, an inch-sized bit of beef, and that is all everyone is asking for--a bite, that you read just the first line of his or her book. The problem is that you know everyone too well. If you read one line, everyone will beg you to read another. Just one more.
To start from the beginning of the novel, go here.