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, September 4, 2016

Everyone Dithers over Whom to Ask for Advice

Everyone was having a crisis of confidence. Everyone had made the mistake of rereading her or his blog and had come to the conclusion that it was not as good as everyone had thought it was.

First was the problem that the novel everyone was posting started in the wrong place. I should have started with chapter 4, everyone ventured, being most intrigued from that entry on, but when everyone tried to do without the first three blog chapters, the novel did not make sense. Everyone could have rearranged the order of the chapters, but everyone had already posted them.

I told you so,” the Internet told everyone when she or he asked how to correct the problem. The Internet was out to prove a point, everyone surmised, and it wasn’t interested in helping. After all, if it did and everyone managed to salvage the novel, the Internet’s earlier directive not to blog one’s novel (at least not until one was finished writing it) would be proven wrong. The Internet had an ego, as everyone was finding out. This was an issue when the Internet was one’s closest friend and the one to whom one turned in times of need.

Others everyone might have called included her or his coworker J. D., who next to the Internet probably knew the most about everything, especially about rules, but everyone had not seen J. D. in months.

Harvey would have been a good coworker to query, if it were not for his deep relationship with the Internet. Everyone knew Harvey to be wise and spiritual, the way the Internet could be, which explained why Harvey talked so often with it. This close friendship, in turn, made everyone doubt that Harvey would be able to dispense useful advice, since the Internet more than likely would mention, if it had not already, everyone’s problem to Harvey with a gloating smirk, making Harvey leery to contradict something his good friend had said.

Everyone’s coworker Sam would have been an excellent resource, but he or she had a crush on everyone, mostly, it appeared now, because everyone reminded Sam of a time when J. D. had been more of a regular at the office. Everyone found Sam extremely attractive but mostly because Sam was of the opposite gender the way everyone’s spouse had been. And since everyone was still hoping to get that spouse back, using Sam for recommendations seemed imprudent.

Who everyone really wanted to talk with about the blog, however, was the meaning of life. The meaning of life was at the core of everyone’s dissatisfaction with the blog. Everyone knew the meaning of life read the blog. Everyone and the meaning of life talked on the phone nearly every night. But still, the meaning of life had neither proposed nor assented to an in-person rendezvous. Everyone was worried about her or his figure and had been dieting in anticipation of meeting, and yet everyone was beginning to think that the meaning of life was stringing her or him along. What sort of joy the meaning of life got out of this constant postponing everyone could not figure, but she or he hypothesized that it went back to the meaning of life’s love for hide-and-go-seek, a game everyone had thought people lost interest in by the age of ten.

Then, to make matters worse, last week everyone had found out that her or his child Jody had told the Internet that she or he was too embarrassed to let her or his friend, the famous actor Clint Gabble, meet everyone because everyone was so short of being successful. Jody pointed specifically at everyone’s blog novel. This shocked everyone not only because she or he had thought the blog an impressive work of art that had managed--if only recently--to grab the meaning of life’s attention but because everyone had thought, judging from the analytics the Internet constantly ran for everyone, that no one actually read her or his blog.

Everyone wasn’t sure which was worse--to have no one read it or to have people read it and be embarrassed by how bad it was.

Everyone gave in and called Sam.

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