An idea…

by jlolb

So, I’m thinking about writing a novel. Yes, seriously. It might take like 10 or 15 years, but I still think I want to do it. Anyway, what I am going to include in this page is possibly the first page of said novel. It’s only slightly autobiographical, but my main character will probably end up being a little more cynical than I am in real life. There are many fictitious events, and made up names–this is no memoir–I don’t want to be like that Million Little Pieces dude–being raked over the coals on Oprah. Gosh. Anyway, I don’t usually put my muttered words on the blogosphere–this is a big step for me–be kind. However, I need some reader feedback to tell me if you think I should continue with this idea, or put it in the trash with the others! So, read on–enjoy!

The Trials of a 20-Something Cynic Facing the World


I am driving through Wisconsin on business. As I looked around and took in the sights of the other seats in my Subaru and examined the remnants of many a fast food meal on the go, a thought occurred to me: “how the hell did you get here?”

Well, it’s actually a less than interesting story. I majored in the humanities, graduated summa cum laude, and decided to take some time away from school while trying to figure out what the heck I want to do with my life. The thing is, there isn’t much call in the work force for English majors without a graduate degree, which brings me to where I am now…working in the insurance industry, gaining ass circumference by the meal, dating HBO, spending most of my nights in skanky hotels, being continuously discontented by the state of the world and my life, and typing emails on a laptop on which the “o” key doesn’t stay attached—I’ve taped it to the I and the P, but still, it takes a careful stroke of the keyboard to type correctly. One can say my life is a little less than glamorous.

But, don’t worry—that doesn’t have me down. I mean, if I think about it, I’m sure I could come up with something extremely positive to say about my life…
Well, maybe I’ll come back to that thought!

On to other things. As I pulled into Wisconsin this Sunday evening, my grandmother called. She usually calls at least 4 times a week—I usually pick up once or twice. Tonight, I figured, since I had time to kill, I might as well get it over with.

“Hi dear.”
“Hi Grandma, how are you?”
“Oh fine, dear, how are you?”

“Good, good…grandma?? Hello?”
Rustling occurrs on the other end…
“Are you there?” Grandma asks.
“Yes, still here–what are you doing?”
“Oh, shoot, sorry, I’m out on a walk with the dogs. I’m trying to use one of those damn blue teeth thingys but I can’t get it to stay on my ear. Anyway, where are you this week?”
“You know, there are lots of farms in Wisconsin—lots of dairy farms.”
“Yeah, I was aware of that.”
“And you know it takes lots of men to run dairy farms? Lots of muscular, attractive men.”
“Is that so, grandma?”
“Oh, yes, of course dear. And, if you look hard enough I am certain you can find yourself one.”
“A man or a dairy farm?”
“A man, dear. You know that no woman wants to grow up being old and single. I mean, come on now, I need some more great grand-babies—those ones your sisters have are real cute, but for once it would be nice if we could have one from you. You don’t have to go being the odd one out all the time you know, just get it over with. You know your woman parts are only going to be working correctly for a few more years, and then, before you know it, you’ll be sterile as all get out and wishing you would have taken my advice.”
“Grandma, I am not even 25 yet.”
“Yes, dear, but those boys aren’t going to wait around forever.”

This is how my entire family acts towards me when the topic of conversation is men. I am single. I have been single for a long time—since I broke up with…well, let’s just call him “Loser.”

If Loser had turned out to be a different kind of guy, we might never have broken up. And, if Loser wasn’t such a relentless narcissist, my opinion towards the opposite sex might be a bit different than it actually is now. And, if Loser had been able to sweep me off my feet, remain sweet and wonderful, and stop lying for at least five minutes, well, if Loser could have done that, I might not be here in Wisconsin.

Anyway, I’m here in Wisconsin. I’m here for an intensive conference on term-life policies…I know, invigorating. It is at times like these that I think about the disappointment in my advisor’s eyes when I told him I wasn’t going to be going into the English field right away, and instead I was going to do something that seemed practical at the time—get a “real” job. I’m at the point now where I would be frightened to run into him as I am sure he’s sworn me off—he likely wouldn’t remember my name, even if I was standing right in front of him wearing a name tag….

What comes next needs some more editing, so this is all you get for now…I know, it’s just a tiny snippet and not really enough to give you a serious idea of what might happen. Imagine a little character development if you must…