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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Omniscient Author. By John von Daler

                        First the elevator opened on the second floor while I was on my way up to the sixth to the dentist's office. In walks this little guy, all pale-like, you know, with glasses, not dirty I guess, but sort of grungy, like he hadn't bathed in a while. His shirt was half untucked and buttoned in the wrong buttonholes. His hair was kind of greasy too...and well, that's all I can remember.

               What I do remember, though, is the elevator stopping between floors with just him and me in it. You know, dream scenario, only it's a bad dream. He was supposed to have been Penelope Cruz, but there he was, just some nerdy guy I was locked up with. The elevator people called and said that we would be out in about an hour and I got word to the dentist, so we sat down with our backs to the wall and introduced ourselves.
                What do you do for a living, I asked.
                He looked kind of silly when he answered, "I'm an O.A.
                "A what?" I said.
                " A certified O.A. Published and everything." He was not looking at me, but up at the ceiling while he spoke.
                "O.K. " I said. "What's an O.A.?"
                He sort of looked proud in a grungy kind of way.
                "Omniscient Author"
                "What's that?"
                "Oh it's too technical to explain. I write books. Fiction."
                "Hmmm. So tell me a story," I said. "One you've already written."
                Well, he sighed and then shrugged.
                "I'll tell you about the time I walked down Broadway naked on a bet and won a million dollars."
                "You've published this?" I said, but he just looked at me. "O.K. Tell away." Then he started:
                Well, the weather was hot. I say hot, but I mean sort of in between. You know, weather like summer, but with a touch of rainy spring: the real New York weather, all humid. Ever been to New York? Well, it's not a bad place. Big, though. As many people as all of Scandinavia put together. Now where was I, oh, so I was sweating. You know, not work sweat, but sit still sweat, you know, a kind of dishonest sweat, not like working people, but more, well, lazy. Yeah, a lazy sweat. So now I'm walking along Broadway all stark when I meet this lady. I say lady, but I mean a woman all dressed up, you know, the works, like when my Mom used to go to parties and put on a butterfly dress all silk and make-up and high-heels. Now this woman is thinking, who is this guy walking towards me all naked, who the hell does he think he is...
                "How do you know what she's thinking?"
                "O.A." he says, and looks wise. I don't understand, but I nod for him to go on.
                So she's thinking, If I just don't look at him then I don't have to have anything to do with him and I'm thinking I wonder what she's thinking, maybe she likes me, because I remember a girl I used to sit behind in school who kind of looked like her maybe. But out of a window way up above us there is this stockbroker, all right, I say stockbroker, I guess he was more or less an office boy with pretensions, but he is looking down at us and thinking, I wonder if they know each other, that guy and that woman. They look like it. And he remembers that this morning he looked at a woman who was walking her dog and she looked right back, sort of, you know, we've got something, you and me...Then as he is looking, you see, this pigeon that really had not gotten any sleep because it is noisy in New York and this real psycho of a rat that was half crazed by a dose of poison that it had eaten behind a Chinese restaurant, you know the kind where you can eat round the clock and the waitresses look like they are in a movie from 1935 or so. Well the rat attacks the pigeon that's edgy anyway and the pigeon flies up right in the face of the office boy and he drops a paper that his boss had given him that morning asking for ten copies or maybe it was twelve. The boss had not been feeling so good, what with this big deal coming on and he had this thing with a secretary who loved him but could not get him to divorce his wife, you know, and she is thinking, He's just like my Dad in many ways. And he is thinking, how do I get to go to bed with her one more time and then get rid of her, but she's a pretty good secretary, when he hears the same rat almost get caught in the trap behind the wall, but the rat gets some of the poison and swallows ---never swallow, it thinks too late---and he winks at her, I mean the boss to the secretary, just at the same moment as I wink to the lady on Broadway...
                Suddenly the elevator started moving again and the door opened and I jumped for my life into the dentist's office.
                My advice to you? Never get trapped anywhere with an O.A., whatever that is.

The author
of this book
is me.
I'm not
very omniscient.
Read it 
and see:


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