by Andrew Ingkavet
“But how do you know it’s me?” I asked for the seventeenth time.
“I mean there’s plenty of other writers in this town alone that could spin out your yarn in far less time and in more elegant ways.”
I paused for dramatic effect. That usually works and gets people to see things a bit more my way. It’s much more persuasive, and frankly, dramatic.
But he was having none of it. He looked me up and down with a quizzical, almost comic look, as if he was laughing at me, laughing at me incredulously.
“Simon. You are the one because I have chosen you for your talents, your life path, your experience, the core of your being. Please. Take some time and don’t just give up so easily.” He said it tenderly, kindly.
I rubbed my eyes sleepily and stretched with a big yawn.
“Oh boy. You really don’t give up easily, do you?” I said hoping he would finally acquiese.
“No and neither should you. Now, get writing.”
I reluctantly took my legal pad out of the middle drawer of my desk, placed it in front of me, clicked the ballpoint pen and sat patiently.
“Is this what you want?” I said facetiously.
“Just write what I tell you.”
He spoke at a moderato pace, in a mezzo-piano, occasionally swelling into a mezzo-forte, but never true fortissimo. Not at this point, yet.
His story was good, but who was I to judge? Everything sounded sort of good in the beginning. It’s the endings that kill you! As a hack wannabe fiction writer, I’ve been stopping and starting stories for over a decade, probably longer. And then this guy shows up. You know how they say that if you show up enough, the Universe will conspire along with you? Well, I now know it’s true. I only wish I had some choice about who showed up. This guy is not the guy I wanted to write about! I wanted to write about a young boy, like a middle schooler, like my son, like a 3rd year Harry Potter. Instead I got this pompously dressed gentleman, who happens to be a serial killer with hidden tattoos and bad breath showing up in my writing studio, in my walks, at the gym, in my dreams. Apparently he’s a role model citizen in the community by day, but at night, he changes completely. It’s all due to…what.
He stopped talking and just looks at me, condescension written all over his face.
“You told them about me and you?”
“Well, uh, I didn’t know what else to say. I’ve been scribbling on the page for years and I just thought I would tell them about you and how I didn’t really want you but here you are.”
“You know what sacred means?”
“Uh. Are we getting religious now? Because if we are, I’m atheist and don’t believe in all that. I mean, most modern-day liberal, progressive, middle-of-the-road educated folks don’t believe in that.”
“And yet, here we are…” He let it hang in the air.
“Here we are Simon. You, talking to your ‘imaginary friend'” he did that air quotes thing that I hate so much.
“Your friend whom you don’t like, but are willing to sit for an hour, and another hour, and another, writing down what I’m telling you. You tell me who is a non-believer?” There was another pause.
Man, so dramatic! Oh and I think he has a British upper crust accent too now.
“Sacred…Simon…sacred is this bond we have.” He gestured at me and then himself.
“We are sacred. You are following in the line of your ancestors, all of whom were blessed by the muse, as they say. You just had to get out of your own way.” Another pause.
“Remember 2 years ago when you were writing, or rather, trying to write your magnum opus on…what was his name…George…”
“George Patterson.” I said. He was rubbing it in. I could see it in his eyes now.
“Yes, that pitiful creature. Well, he was meant for another writer, a true artist by the way.”
What a jerk.
“You must understand Simon. You all must understand. The artist doesn’t get to choose. WE get to choose.” He was pointing to himself and gesturing around the room.
“We, the muses, that funny name you gave us, you humans…we get to choose our makers, so to speak.”
“But why me?” I said. This is the 18th time now.
“You are chosen because we are connected. I can see everything about you, your current life, your past life, your dreams, your hopes, but most importantly, I can see your true purpose, and that is to give voice to me. I’ve been waiting a long time Simon and we’re running out of time. If we don’t connect, you and me, I may be unfulfilled forever.” He looked at me intensely with his red-rimmed eyes.
“Or I may need to go with Lydia Davis, you know, that writer who everyone is talking about.”
“What? You would leave me for Lydia Davis?” I was suddenly furious.
“Well, I didn’t want to say it right at the beginning, but yes, you are the first choice, but hey, you know I need to be practical too. What happens if you decided to actually jump off that bridge? You do remember that don’t you?”
I looked at him, astonished.
The shriek of the alarm shredded the rest. I rose sleepily from my desk to shut it. The digital numbers announced 5:30am. Welcome to a new day Simon. I said to myself…and to him, my serial killer who just happened to go out for tea.
© 2014 Andrew Ingkavet All rights reserved.