Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Written By: George Jennifer, Anonymous and Orlon Braem
Today I have no option but to fulfill an assignment given me by those who sanction my leadership of this city. And one might suppose that supervision of a city’s most basic needs and wants would be challenge enough for any mayor, yet, that’s not the case here. Here apparently the city’s leader must also search for possible truths and falsehoods associated with supplied literary imaginings! Oh, but maybe I only received this task because it’s April!
Nonetheless, this discourse concerns two wishing to be mortals of apparently youthful years – two innocents evidently seeking a realness which, without the assistance of supernatural entities, cannot be granted to fictional characters. But in my imagination I can see them. And the girl is but a thought in someone’s mind, while the boy was perhaps once a real lad, photographed many years ago standing near his now classic automobile. And if he’s living an actual life yet still, then today he’s certainly a much older man. He’s much older than the man in the picture from long ago. And, because she never had a basis in reality, and therefore never really aged, we know he’s also much older than the girl who appears on a second picture with him. And don’t ask how supposed people from pictures, literature, and mental impressions expect to become real human beings. I don’t know. I’m only a mayor!
But I guess just as I’ve been selected to introduce this piece, so has my friend Orlon Braem been asked to summarize its possibly useful deductions. And I remember reading once that in the opinion of one of my favorite writers, April was assumed to be the most significant of the twelve entities to which it belonged, the same as Peter arguably had been, and as the juror who finally persuaded the other eleven of supposed innocence or guilt also no doubt had been.
Still, April’s innate importance must stem from its function as a bridge between the harshness of winter, and the rebirth of spring; with spring’s rebirth of course hopefully leading to renewed expectations. Yes, but how often must we admit that many of our new formed determinations will slip away down the canals of time? And I think you know it’s true; all of our actions are judged, temporally at least, as a result of both our own and someone else’s opinions of right and wrong.
And my responsibility as mayor of this unconventional city leads me into areas of unknown and unexpected occurrences. And thus I’ve been asked to present, in three parts, both a possible love affair, and my city’s defense of its love of April. And I’m just now ending the first of the three parts.
But I’ll not tell you who the writer of Part Two is. Yet, I’ll say this: She’s not a real girl. She came to life in the mind of a teller of tales; and that person isn’t me, although as I’ve already said, I can see her in my imagination. And hers is the second portion of this discourse, written by someone unknown to me, but then submitted to me by my overseers for inclusion herein. And Part Three was written by Orlon Braem. And his was the task to form some sort of syntheses out this dichotomy of what’s unreal and what wishes it weren’t.
I didn’t want to write this. My dad said I should put in a written form what had happened to me last week. And dad said he’d turn over my words to our city’s mayor then.
I guess I probably should do something about what happened to me. Actually, if you wanted to be real literal about it, I suppose it was close to kidnapping. But, you know, I understand I was taken, or maybe I could say summoned by forces of long ago – forces that are only part of all the people and groups who attempt to add a bit of strangeness to our city.
And I’d heard already when I was in grade school that this city was like no other. I’d been warned that literally anything could happen here. But of course I’d never really paid much attention to those warnings. I guess I figured if something bizarre was going to happen, it would happen regardless of whether or not I believed it could or couldn’t occur.
So that’s my story up until a week ago. My dad and the mayor don’t want me to tell you my name. But I want you to believe what I’ll write here. It really happened!
I’m seventeen now. It won’t be long until I’m eighteen. And now my senior year of high school is coming to an end. I haven’t decided upon my college yet! But I grew up on the north side of our city. And I attend the North side high school here. The South side has a high school too.
Well, anyway, I’d just gotten home from school last Wednesday when, as I was walking into the house, I noticed a strange type of car pull up at the curbside. I’d never seen a car like that before. It was bigger than most of the vehicles I see on the streets here, and it had a large white fin-like part on its side. And as I looked at the driver of it, I also noticed something strange in his appearance, His clothes seemed to come from another era, and, I guess, it looked to me as though he probably did as well.
He waved at me. He wanted me to come over by his car. I didn’t want to go there, yet, somehow, I couldn’t stop myself. I walked over to his driver’s door and asked “Who are you, and what type of car is this?”
“This car is a Chevrolet from 1957” he said. “And I’m a still young man who’s today, along with my car, been allowed to leave the lifelessness of the portrait which, together we’ve shared since 1958.
“I’m afraid of you” I said.
“Come over here and stand next to me by the car” he said. “I think it’s time for you and I to be recast as real mortals, or at least as characters of a new picture.”
“But I’m already real” I said. “I don’t need to come to life.”
“You’re mistaken” he said, “For almost eighteen years now you’ve existed as a prisoner of literature, kept alive only in the passing thoughts of someone who may someday ask his Supreme Being to give you a real mortal life. In other words, you’ve always been a lot like me; except that I’ve sought true life from the confines of a picture, while you’ve unknowingly searched for it amidst the creative whims of an author’s mind.”
So I walked over to his car then. He got out of it. We stood together near its driver’s side, and suddenly a middle aged man came along and snapped our picture. Then that man left, and I got into the Chev, and the boy and I drove off.
Well, I guess it had been a while since I’d been asked to write for the mayor; and that was fine with me! It was an April evening, and I was getting tired. I’ll go to bed now I thought. Suddenly my phone rang, and of course it was Mayor Jennifer. And he had another of his always seemingly unbelievable requests. “Earlier today I received a very strange call” he said. “It was from a young couple who said they wanted me to grant them a real life! And I might add that they both spoke to me, yet somehow their voices didn’t seem to belong to real people! But they didn’t sound like those scamming robots either”!
‘“We’ve both been confined in unreality for many years’ they said. The girl said she was the figment of a writer’s imagination, and the boy said he was existing as an unreal human portrayed on a picture.”
“Well, what do you want me to do about them?” I asked the mayor.
“I’d like you, through your use of words, to give them not only a real life, but also a real love affair; after all, it’s time for April love”!
“Yeah, and maybe it’s time our city gets a new mayor too” I replied. But then I continued “Well George, as with all your other bizarre requests, I’ll give this one the old Braem try. But first let me be sure I understand this; I’ve got a girl who was conceptualized by a writer, and a boy who appeared in a picture long ago, and now the two of them want a real life, and a chance to become lovers.”
“You’ve got it” said the mayor.
So we ended our call then. And some may wonder why we don’t text. But we do, yet I guess not in matters of such bizarreness. Anyway, I went to bed then. “I’ll worry about this foolishness tomorrow” I told myself.
And it must have been some time then, when, from inside the confines of slumber, two images, one a young male , and the other a young female, appeared to me. And I saw them inside a mirror! And I surmised they weren’t humans I knew, and perhaps not really humans at all! And they were standing near an old car – probably one from the 1950’s I thought.
And the young man spoke then. “Are you capable of good writing?” he asked.
And I answered him thus: “I always try to write away all wrongs.”
“Then bring us forth out of this mirror” he said.
And then the female said “Give us a chance to be lovers in a real world.”
And I answered them, “Well, I don’t know that the two of you are ready yet (or ever will be) to be brought forth out of literature and pictures. And, I’m a writer, not a sorcerer! Still, who knows what is capable of occurring in this city! But I’d admonish the two of you; don’t be so anxious to become real mortals. Remember, a wise lady once said that one can’t hurry love. Thus, I’m thinking it might be better if the two of you would, from inside the reality of a real person’s dream, ask the Master of the Universe if He could fashion other mortal examples of you who could fall in love in the real world. In other words, I think the two of you had better return to your fictional abodes.” And then I awakened. It was a nice April morning!
And I texted the mayor then that, with the aid of apparently the same overseers (or whoever they are) who’d brought this wished for love affair to him in the first place, I’d now been able to write Part Three of this discourse. And I notified him that since I needed to visit his part of the city that day, I simply drop off my words at his home/office. But before I left to do that, I had some moments of reflection at home.
I think I know now what one of my favorite writers meant some time ago when he wrote “I love you in fragments passing by.” He must have been speaking about how love continues although a ceaseless struggle between good and evil carries on all about it. And in his contemplation of that struggle he must have been led to ponder why so many humans strive to do what’s right, while so many others try to commit actions only harmful to themselves and mankind as a whole. But I’m thankful that most mortals find comfort in the peace of everyday necessities. Yet, of course there are some who need to justify their wars. Nonetheless my prayer today is: April hold me! Prepare me for what may befall me in May and in other months and years to come.