Hmmology – episode 2: Any minute now…

To get the full story, start with EPISODE 1

I know I left off last time having promised to roll in some characters next episode and maybe tentatively commence the narrative thread, but I feel it imperative to talk some more about me. For the sake of enriching the background of the story, you understand, not as an exercise in vanity.

Why, you ask, should one know their narrator? Since he usually seems to be treated like the Terms and Conditions – one knows they should be at least perused, but only lawyers and the clinically insane do it – why should I, the average reader, care about the narrator’s whereabouts?

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Source: flickr

Let me ask you… do you not care about the moral fiber of your butcher? Do you not frown upon the faux pas your dentist made by starting with his instruments from the inside, when everyone knows you start from the edge of the table and work your way in? Why would the word-handler, the lexical-contortionist be an exception? They might do highly unethical things, cloaked in the effulgence of their literary panache. Like  using words they can’t properly pronounce, making you thus feel inadequate in your mastery of the language, thinking you should  look it up in the dictionary and, of course, read MORE in the future, hence creating increased demand for said unethical author… and can you know see the purpose of this inquiry?

Now, of course, I wouldn’t do such things. Even though it is ever so tempting. But I confess to another crime. I don’t have a life. Now, this isn’t an uncommon condition for writers or storytellers. You don’t need a life in order to spin tales. You just need to listen to people who have one and outdo them in their delivery. That way, one of nature’s miracles happens and you can carve out a living for yourself, by merely highlighting stuff other people have done. Sounds like a pretty sound deal to me.

Better still, a sizable chunk of your work as a story teller involves doing not much at all. Of course, you have to learn to call this process by its proper name – that is, research – otherwise you’ll get a number of nasty, unsolicited remarks on how lazy and useless you are.

I made this little detour to help you understand that my postponing of the actual narration is not an exercise in procrastination or a show of ineptitude, but the necessary time allotted to getting some more scrupulous research under the belt before putting pen to paper. And now, if you’ll excuse me, Coco is coming and he seems rather story-driven today.

Oh, and who might Coco be, you inquire?

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Source: flickr

What can I tell you about Coco? Should I start with a description or should I get right to his exploits and let his actions paint a picture of the guy? Well, I guess the first thing you’d need to learn is that his real name is not Coco. He told me this the fourth time he ended up in front of me after walking around in circles for his first couple of centuries in here (they don’t call it a *circle* of hell for no reason, although, come to think of it, it’s actually more like a torus, which only makes it worse, because now you’re running around in circles in all directions). Sure, he always tells the same story, so it gets kind of repetitive and I phase out every now and again, but what can you do? It’s obvious the fellow is hung up about what happened, so I just let him vent.

Ok, he’s settling in. He’ll start any minute now…

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