Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Inkwell

I have a concern.

I’ve written a story. Or, maybe you’d call it an essay if you were a stickler for fiction being fictional. But, if you were a stickler for essays being truthful you’d have a problem there too. Whatever your preference, it’s a very fine piece of work. I would like to submit this piece for publication. I think it deserves to be read. And no I don’t want to post it here. I’d like to find a place for it where it will reach a double-digit audience.

This is my concern: The opening sentence of my story/essay may be perceived as offensive. The sentence is so evocative that I don’t want to remove it or reword it. It sets the tone. It ties the piece together.

Now, I’m not one to self-censor (e.g., see my college basketball entries from the March archives). But I don’t want my work to be summarily rejected for its opening sentence. Nor do I want my name put on lists. Now do I want to appear insane.

I’m not so much asking for advice as I’m stating the facts. And those are the facts.

What’s the sentence? No, that’s too easy. I’d rather have this topic up for discussion in an abstract form. That’s how I roll.

I had a nice day at work today. Yes, that’s what I said. I had a meeting on the “Golden Floor.” That’s where the bigwigs with their bloused secretaries and inkwells hang out. They listened to what I had to say and scoffed at what I reported others saying. Where is this leading? Well, you know I like to keep my workplace secret, but those of you with the full local (L.A.) digital cable package may see me working the Power Point on one of the Deep Channels some time before Labor Day.

Yes, he had an inkwell. I saw him dip.

Laurel tells me that the new couch arrived today. I can’t wait to get home, to recline in sage green luxury, to run the cable channels up and down, all the way up to 213, while Laurel studies the Buddha on the East Side. Monday, I ran 2 miles and climbed 66 flights of stairs. Tuesday, I wrote the perfect report for internal dissemination. Today, well you know about today. Tonight, it’s me, Seymour and Lilly (cats), and the sleek soft-yet-unpuffy couch.

His pen ran out of ink and rather than borrow a ballpoint from any one of seven people at the conference table, he went to his desk and pulled out an inkwell!

2 comments:

fishwilleatitself said...

Well, knowing your gift for offending almost everyone I'd suggest using the Finnegan's Wake method-- simply stick the beginning sentence at the very end and claim you've invented the ouraborous. Oooh! I represented infinity in language! Oooh! Look at all my references! Oooh! Kiss me I'm Irish! Oooh! Think I'll get drunk again and ignore punctuation! I love that I feel confident in dissing Joyce at this stage in my life.

linglo said...

Ali Fahmy,

According to our recent marriage contract, Mr. Husband, I am allowed to read your essays before public release. So, I happen to know what the dubious (now notorious) first scentence is. I'd like to state for the record that while the scentence is provocative, perhaps even offensive, if a reader has the good sense to read further into the essay, the offense will be replaced with intrigue. The intrigue will be replaced with delight. And delight will be replaced with massive world-wide orgies.

-Linglo (your new second wife)