Dusty manual typewriter; messy desk. The Solitary Novelist reclined greasy on his musty couch, meandering mildew of regret.
“Who buys me? Who reads me? What matters if I give away my work?”
“I heard it was, after all, just talk,” he said. “Pursuit of pure talk.”
“My life missed in this room. Women, sunlit moments, strolling The Big Park…”
“Occasionally someone is right about something, but EVERYONE is ALWAYS wrong about EVERYTHING.”
Cigarettes, bourbon, tropes, clichés.
“This someone will listen, though that someone does not regard. Like my books: talk on deaf ears. But the words must…what? I’m something lost. When I cannot attain moments, I invent them. Moments invented in this very room.”
The Solitary Novelist looked lovingly upon me.
“That’s why I invented you, Plantman. You will attain my lost moments.”
“No longer young again, for real now. I’ve strip-mined my true. Cannot invent. Imagine! You, my Plantman, will pursue pure talk outside this room. Go. Live. Find what has been lost. Go where Life is.”
“I’m always where Life is. I’m Plantman.”
“I gave your character the motivation to persist against all odds,” said the Solitary Novelist, lighting a cigarette and loading the machine with a blank sheet. “My little ‘Don.’”
The Solitary Novelist returned to the typing he’d stopped abruptly at the beginning of my enter.
Down in the subway, waiting for the train, tried to remember where the Solitary Novelist lived. How I got there. From whence? Where?
Really, I could not recall.