I write. I manufacture alternate worlds. I like cooking. I dream about having a massive kitchen with pale washed out peach walls. My friends come over at all hours of the day; we chat, I cook, they eat, we laugh. Shoshanah says I'm broody. maybe she's right.
Let me introduce myself:
INTRODUCTION: THE WET FISH
Down, down the dark we go
Into the depths of worlds unknown
You didn’t know it was going to happen. You were just minding your own business, browsing through a selection of books, when you came across this one. The title was catchy and the book cover had a certain appeal so you thought: might as well just check what the introduction is like, right? It won’t hurt, will it?
You open the book; page 1 is the usual copyright information, page 2 is the title and there in between page 3 and 4 is a squashed goldfish. It’s dead. With horror you drop the book to the floor. Look around the place. No one else seems to have noticed anything odd. You pick it up. Look again. Yes the dead goldfish is still there. And just behind it is the chapter title: Introduction: The wet fish. As you read it, the goldfish wakes up and starts flopping around. It slides out from the pages and onto the floor. You read on; the damp seeps deeper into the book, darkening the pages and soon it’s dripping wet. The words run on the page like water, sentences splashing to the floor as you read them, forming a puddle of thoughts around you. In this moment of complete interest you suddenly realize that you are imagining yourself in the same place, soaking wet with the words. You are watching yourself through this book and you think how this is an uneasy feeling. As if you are just a character in a story. A noun drips from the end of your chin. Your hands are adjectively drenched, but you don’t turn away. The book is growing larger and larger, filling your eyes, turning a hard brown wood until you stand before huge gates and the pages you once held in your hands are now doorknobs.
…and everything waits for you to read the next line.
You wipe a few sentences from your eyes with one hand to see the doors more clearly. That uneasy feeling you had before is now screaming at you. You close the book. The book the closes you. You’re back and nothing’s changed, you’re dry and holding an ordinary paperback. Breathe a sigh of relief. After all it’s just a book. Tricky, but still only a book with words and nothing more. You open it again.
You’re standing drenched to the bone covered in thoughts, with these doorknobs in your hands. Should you turn them? You’ve come this far. You do so very carefully, knowing that anything is possible now. You throw the doors open and hide behind them. Nothing. There is nothing coming out of them. Slowly… take a look and there is the goldfish, just an arms length away flopping on the floor. It stares at you, its mouth working, opening and closing as if it’s saying something. It is whispering something. You strain your neck to hear. Its blue eyes dilate, locking with yours, its mouth works faster but not louder.
“What is it?” you ask. It stretches out a feeble fin. You reach for it. Suddenly a wave of plot comes roaring out of the gates and hits you. You get washed into its current, tossed around in a swirl of its wild torrents and before you can realize you might be drowning, it heaves you onto the little rowing boat. And in the craft is a woman. Streams of adjectives pour from her eyes but she is smiling at you. You can’t take your eyes off her, but with a logic that can only be found in dreams, you know that below the deep rushing waves is the goldfish, still pinned to the floor, gazing at the surface. Trapped. There is no way out of this book except to trust the girl who cries words, ride the storm of lies and survive the story. And in this moment, at this present, right now—you know that this is where the trouble starts; the fun begins.
see you in the funny papers.
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