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An Introductory Ramble

11 Months Ago



I'm new here.

And I've never trusted finger foods. Those little sandwiches cut into odd shapes with the crusts surgically removed by someone with a lot more patience than me? They make me nervous. There's something wholly unnatural about them. Stacked in odd geometric piles like homages to the pyramids done in tuna salad. Do you take from the top or from the side? Too many decisions. Too many things that could potentially spell disaster.

And never smell a finger sandwich.

They smell artificial in a way that makes a whopper seem gourmet. And don't look too closely at one either. They look like the insides should be gooping out at the corners but for some inexplicable reason don't.

If you must eat one just pop it into your mouth. Chew and swallow quickly. Don't ask what's in them. You don't want to know. I'm allergic to a whole bunch of things but I'd rather take my chances with anaphalactic shock then receive a list of the ingredients. I try to avoid those people who nibble at the sandwiches or carry them around pinched between thumb and forefinger occassionally gesturing with them like they were carrying a gun.

There's something wrong with those people, I think to myself. I smile, nod and back away slowly so as not to invite attack. Their alien pod masters have failed to program their tastebuds properly.

Or they have sold their soul to some demonic power. They wander about like the damned uncaring making small talk and nibble nibble nibble.

I've never been good at small talk. At making introductions. I can't believe that anyone is interested, truly that interested, in the weather or what kind of day I'm having or whether the comic store is doing well.

Somedays; yes. Somedays; no.

So I tend to ramble at parties. The ebb and flow will inevitably wash me up against one wall or other and I will have to fight my way back into the spray like one of those valiant baby sea turtles.

"I write stories", I ventured once when the inevitable 'so what do you do?' question arose. Which wasn't completely honest. And it wasn't completely true. What I really do is sit in a chair and hope for customers to come through the door. And then I try to sell them comic books. Or Pokemon cards. Or action figures. Smiling as they bypass Watchmen or Pride of Baghdad to pick up the latest Wolverine #1 variant cover.

It has a hologram.

That'll be $4.20 cents with tax.

Occasionally I'll write. If the muses are kind and willing. But everyone knows that the muses aren't kind. They never have been. Look at your mythology.

I'll write a poem or a snippet of prose. I'll work on a comic script or sit and stare at the little flashing cursor thingee in the Word window and think about how I once insisted on writing everything out long hand. How I would say that I could feel this connection between myself and the pen and the infinite creative force. I was proud of my calluses. But I hardly ever write now. Not with a pen. I sit in front of my computer like I swore I would never do.

Which makes me wonder if one day I will like finger sandwiches. and I will stand there stabbing my bologna and mustard triangle at some unsuspecting partygoer.

So what do you do? Nibble nibble nibble.

Please. Please Erato. Please Thalia. Please Polyhymnia. Please whoever is listening and watching and keeping count of the number of times that I have let your inspiration be tossed aside and left unused. Please.

Don't let me like finger sandwiches.

This is a bit of me. I'm sorry. I'm not very good at introductions.