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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Everyone Has a Child Aching to Be Famous

Everyone’s child Star decided to become an actor. Star had a heart of gold, so she or he was destined for fame.

Star’s inspiration for taking up acting was the John Quincy Adams exhibit at the Dasney Amusement Park Mall. Sam, everyone’s coworker at the parent company’s main office, had taken Star to see the exhibit.

Ever since Sam had seen John Quincy Adams speak, she or he had been transfixed. It was as if John Quincy Adams lived inside Sam and controlled all that Sam said, did, and perceived. Sam wanted others to see in John Quincy Adams what she or he saw. John Quincy Adams had been prescient enough to perceive that Hawaii was a place for tourists and thus to argue for its statehood, all without having seen the islands and before the United States had taken control.

John Quincy Adams reminded Sam of J. D., an ex-coworker of everyone’s and Sam’s. Whenever Sam saw John Quincy Adams speak, Sam was certain J. D. had come to live inside John Quincy Adams. It was evident from the way that John Quincy Adams had such respect for law and Hawaii.

Sam had been disappointed when she or he took everyone to see John Quincy Adams. Everyone had failed to see how John Quincy Adams invoked their former coworker J. D.

So Sam decided to take others. Sam wanted to take everyone’s youngest child, Jan. Jan seemed likely to be the most susceptible to Adams’s power, because Jan was the most like everyone’s former spouse, and everyone’s former spouse liked J. D. But like everyone’s former spouse, Jan could not be found.

Sam would have taken everyone’s child, Journey, as in the right light, Sam could see J. D. in Journey’s eyes. But Sam had heard of the troubles everyone had had with Journey the last time they had visited the Dasney Mall, and Sam did not wish to repeat those.

So Sam settled on Star.

Star believed John Quincy Adams to be the greatest orator of her or his generation, or so Star told Sam. Star identified John Quincy Adams’s voice and mannerisms not with J. D. but with the famous actor Clint Gabble. As a child Clint Gabble had been featured as a child robot on a television show that included a spaceship, and then he had gone on to star with Gina Monrovia in the movie The Real Mr. Keen. The movie had been rated R for sex. Clint Gabble wasn’t a child robot actor anymore, and this was how he proved it. Gina wanted to be famous, and the movie was how she proved that. Now everyone knew what Gina looked like naked, so she could not go anywhere without being recognized unless she had on clothes.

Star had never seen the movie, but the Internet had shown her or him clips, late at night, after everyone went to bed. Most of the clips did not involve the movie, however, except in passing. Most of the clips involved how Clint and Gina were in love. Their love was more famous than they were. All of humanity wanted to know where Clint and Gina’s love ate each night, what that love was doing coming out of the Crystalball Club at three a.m. on a Sunday morning, and when the love would finally make Clint and Gina marry.

In the grocery store Star learned that Gina had been unfaithful to the love, and Clint was uncertain about whether to continue going out with it. Star learned that love had made Gina pregnant, though no baby had ever come forth, and that Clint used a phone line to talk love into going out with other women.

Then Clint and Gina reconciled with love and had their pictures taken with it on a red carpet. Gina wore a long pencil gown that wrapped around her like a vacuum cleaner hose. Clint, right arm around Gina’s waist, smiled haughtily, as if he had just finished vacuuming love’s thirteen-room mansion. And in Clint and Gina’s free hands--because they were rich and thin and fit and happy and successful--were cans of Popsi Cola.

Star wanted to be part of this love that Clint and Gina had. They knew the meaning of life, took boat cruises with it each weekend. Star wanted to always have a member of the opposite sex beside her or him and to have all of humanity know it.

Clint Gabble, on stage as a John Quincy Adams robot, seemed to be out to tantalize single women, the way he spoke of Hawaii as the last adventure to be tamed and potentially as the federal government’s biggest tax haul ever. Clint, as John Quincy Adams, was very logical. Star wanted to have such logic. Star wanted to be an actor.

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