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My Life with Oliver

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Joined: 24 Nov 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Indiana
My Life with Oliver  Reply with quote  

My Life With Oliver

Steve was ambitious, but everyone knows ambition can only take you so far. Just out of college, no job and no chance of landing one with his coveted degree in Psychology, Steve decided what he really wanted to do was be a writer, much to his grandmothers dismay. His grandmother Betty, cute though she was, had formed the impression Steve would have to commit suicide. This notion can be attributed to her childhood of reading Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. Finally, when Steve was able to explain the differences in mentality between himself and actual successful literary giants, his grandmother let him be. “Just don’t let him stick his head in any appliances,” she told Steve’s sister, Mary. Mary was the responsible one.
After graduating from Northwestern University Magna Cum Laude in 1999, Mary immediately joined the Peace Corps where she spent her time building and working at orphanages in the Ukraine. Upon returning in 2002, Mary decided she hadn’t fully applied herself or taken any valuable risks and proceeded to travel 32 countries in 16 months, learning seven languages along the way including a southern dialect of Swahili. In 2004, after returning once again to the industrial downfall of Youngstown, Ohio, where the Monroe’s call home, Mr. And Mrs. Monroe were reported as saying, “What’s the Peace Corps.”
It was with the same enthusiasm the Monroe’s welcomed Steve’s declaration, “I’m going to write a novel.” They both cried.
Steve took a job a local coffee shop, Cup O Caffeine, where he worked nights. During the day you could find him at the library researching Human Genome Deficiencies, which had nothing to do with his planned novel, and sometimes writing. While trying to find a topic, as is customary in writing anything of literary value, Steve searched the Internet for information and biographies on his favorite authors. One author in particular, Oliver T. had an e-mail address listed on his website. I can get some first hand advice and maybe even make a friend in the process, Steve thought. He dreamed of drinking cheap wine, sitting around the fire and talking book ideas with his newly found friend. Our kids could play together, go to school together and possibly even mate to form a new highly evolved literary mind, he thought. Without hesitation he wrote an e-mail confessing his love for all T’s publications along with a few questions on how to form ideas. Steve also included one of his favorite short stories, entitled, “Objects in the Fear May Be Closer Than They Appear,” a historical love story involving talking animals on Noah’s Arc. Steve clicked send and waited, giddy with anticipation.
Three hours later, Steve received a reply. Actually it was three hours, two minutes, and fifteen seconds according to Steve’s watch. His stomach was queasy like he was about to read a love letter from Susie the floozy, his high school crush. He opened the e-mail and read as if this moment would determine the future of his writing career. Steve couldn’t wait to meet this new friend. I will have to buy a real artsy looking outfit, possibly black jeans and an old faded t-shirt reading, “Free Tibet.” After letting his imagination fly for several minutes, Steve returned the screen and read.

Dear Steve,
I appreciate your e-mail and your praise of my recently published works. You
are the first person to write a six-page e-mail on why we should be friends, but
I’m afraid I must decline the invitation to your child’s birthday party, tentatively
planned for five years in the future. Upon checking my schedule I realized I will
probably be writing or traveling or anything that lands me anywhere but Ohio.
Good luck with your writing, but understand the hard work that must go into each
and every page you write. Always remember there are plenty of factory jobs in
Youngstown, so make sure you have a Plan B in case your writing doesn’t prove
Again, thanks for buying my tremendously overpriced novels.
~Oliver T.
By, “in case your writing doesn’t prove successful,” I meant your writing is
horrible and you should apply at Applebee’s today.
If you decide to ignore my advice, be sure to pen yourself, “Comma Splice.”
See that last sentence. Impromptu poetry. That’s why I am successful.

Steve stared at the computer screen as a tear rolled down his cheek and onto Darwin Liked Apes Too Much to Not Be One, another book irrelevant to his novel. He couldn’t help but cry like a little baby. He had already reserved Chuck E. Cheese for the birthday parties. Now how could their kids meet and make literary babies? It took him years to decide what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, and only one e-mail to retract the decision. Steve read the e-mail through one more time for any signs of life, but found nothing. He was doomed. He would never be a writer. Closing the e-mail, Steve read quickly through his novel. Two weeks had yielded two sentences. It ended with, quite rightfully so, “the young writer felt he would fail.”
Just as he read the last word, Mary approached him from behind.
“How’s the novel coming, Stevie?” she asked.
Steve closed the laptop and turned to his sister. “I think it’s done,” he said. “How do I join the Peace Corps?”
"In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you."
-Martimer Adler

Post Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:03 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address

Joined: 24 Nov 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Indiana
my apologies  Reply with quote  

i copied and pasted the text and it ended up formatted differently and lacking italics where needed. Sorry for the confusion.
Darwin Liked Apes too Much Not to Be One should be italicized, and so should the e-mail.
"In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you."
-Martimer Adler

Post Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:06 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
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