July 16, 2009

Intro to "An Unremarkable Man"

It seems sometimes that my only motivation for writing can be traced back directly to how many beers I have drunk in the past few, but I think it may be the progenitor of some grand work. To believe this, I know, and recognize as filly, yet I cannot but be helped in believing such an absurd idea.
What follows, most likely will not follow. I am at a loss to explain my shortcomings to the man that may someday be the reader of this here manifesto, but I know that someday, an architect, interested in obscure relics, will see this work, and base his whole idea of our society upon the words contained in this very tract. To believe so is surely not folly. Archaeological endeavors of our own time have set about the precedent of such a thing occurring. I have seen it with my own ears, and born witness to the sounds with my own eyes.
I hate to preface anything, but I find that I must preface everything. Most likely, it is in my own head that all the facts need clearing up, but it is also as equally as possible that in saying this I am lying to myself.
For some time, I have been aware, but I have not related to anyone the works of someone I hold near and dear to myself. In probably what is the most ingenious, or the most naïve of introductions, as I happen to come across to you, dear reader, I must tell you of the extraordinary live of the one who has captivated me. Now you are inclined to meet Octavos Blount.
Lets set matters right, and allow me to assure you that the time you will spend reading this will not be in vain. Some tracts that I have endeavored to read have left me, at their conclusion, with an impotent feeling. An author makes an unstated contract with the readers, that their time will be well spent. In our era, instant communication allows constant access to almost any information that you would wish to learn, and someday, hope to forget. Reading is endangered. It’s an archaic pastime, and someday people may marvel at our books as today we are in awe of early cuneiform tablets dictating the sale of goods in ancient Samaria.
However, such thoughts are more along the lines of what belongs to the visionaries and hack writers of the science fiction false prophets. The future can only be imagined. The past is subject to constant revision. Even the recent past in our own lives becomes the victim of time’s fog. Therefore, we can only be positive of what is happing around us this very instant.
What am I doing this instant? A good question to ask, and I will tell you, but I need a little cooperation on your part. I know it will be hard for you do this, especially if I call it to your attention. What we both need here is what I have heard called “the willing suspension of disbelief.” While right now, I am sitting at my desk, smoking a Camel cigarette, drinking a nice cold Pepsi, and struggling to make coherent sentences. You are somewhere in the future. (How far away from my instant, is your own instant, dear soul?) In my imagination, you’re a gentle person, the kids away at some friend’s house, experimenting with drugs, and your disenchanted husband at his local watering hole. Maybe he’s at the Legion, or some indiscriminate Irish pub, where the name has two apostrophes in it, the capitol o and the s book ending an arbitrary syllable or two. He’s there complaining about his unappreciative boss, his pothead children, or his mistress, of whose existence you are blissfully left unaware, and her capriciousness The important fact is that you have time alone, and I have found my way into your hands. I think that maybe you have had the best intentions to hold this in your hands and decipher my messages through a highly symbiotic relationship between your hands, eyes, and that highly apt brain of yours. However, as I completely understand, you’ve been busy. Time is in short supply these days, as well as I’m sure they are in yours. We keep finding ways to make things work faster, and curiously, this time is quickly allotted to another pastime.
But now, Bliss! We are sharing this instant, and no one can decimate this one truth. For simplicity, your name is Linda, and no doubt, you already know my name from the cover or the spine of the book. Perhaps I was vain enough to have it printed on every other page. I’ll decide on the depth of my vanity at a later point. Now that we’ve got to know each other a little, we can move on to more important matters.
I am not sitting at my desk anymore. There is a good chance that I am still smoking, but this fact seems incidental. You are not sitting at home alone fingering the pages of this book, but instead, you are with me in my perambulation. You look the same, at least to yourself, but you have become about six inches high, and invisible and inaudible to all the passersby. Some people might consider you a delusion, but this one moment so allocated to us by the gods confirms both your existence and my sanity.
You grab tightly to my hair as you accustom yourself to your newly granted perch on my right shoulder. In the pinpoints of your eyes, I can make out faint hints of hazel. Your dress is perfectly ordinary in conforming to the uniform of the middle class. I am struck with the thought that I have an aged Barbie Doll on my shoulder, one manufactured around the time of our fine country’s bicentennial, if only plastic shared the very organic propensity to aging that weathers at all things with a pulse, all things with needs.
What you need, as I interpret from your plaintive eyes, is some sort of explanation of why I have brought you from the cozy confines of your suburban home, the one you and your husband bought five years ago after his big promotion. I will tell you why you are here. You are here because you were curious about Octavos Blount, and I will uphold my end of this unspoken contract, and leave you in the dark no longer.

Sitting at an in descript bar, drinking a drink that is popular at this moment, if you are a young cosmopolitan, we find young Octavos Blount.
This brings us to ask many questions, or perhaps none.
My mind, and maybe yours, thinks in the journalistic vein, the six questions that have been know differently all along, but I think are called “interrogative pronouns.” I try not to alienate too much with the things I know, but I have no real option. I write what I know, and you, Linda, have to hear me out. Six questions, that’s all. I don’t feel like enumerating them, but you’ll find out matter-of-factly.

Who is he?

In any metropolis, we can find a young person at a bar, drinking, as the Eagles said so long ago (to you most likely) “to remember,” or perhaps “to forget.” We don’t know why he imbibes, but then we pull a chair up next to him, as he is alone, talking to no one, just drinking at his drink and staring at every bottle’s reflection in the background that is a flyspecked mirror. You can tell that this mirror if seldom remembered by the wench whose job it its to clean it. The irregularities show the bottles in a light seldom present, almost never seen.