Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The writing genius

He came hobbling along, not decrepitly but with an awkward bounce in his step, with cane in one hand and wheeled satchel in the other. He looked like the perfect candidate for a walker but perhaps too stubborn for one.

We waited on the patio-sidewalk for the library to open while his eyes continually blinked and watered in the cool morning air. I’ve never seen such watery eyes in my life. Like dripping faucets. Little puddles collected on the pavement. Two long tear stains striped his coat. I'd never seen him before.

“You think this is a coincidence?” he suddenly said at me.

“Us meeting here?” said I.

“No. Well, I don’t know, but no; this!” He waved his finger at something: the library? Lake Ontario? Greenland? “Are you telling me they just happened to build a Tim Hortons right next door to the library?”

“I don't know. What do you think?”

“I think people get thirsty when they’re sitting in the library reading or writing. I know I do. And I think they know that!”

“I see,” said I, though I strongly suspected I didn’t. I watched his eyes drip. “So you come here to read?”

“Mostly to write.”

“Excellent. What do you write?”


“Oh! Very good. So do I. Well, I write the beginnings of novels anyway. I don’t finish many.”

“Why not?”

“Well… usually something goes astray at some point that I’m too lazy to fix. You know what I mean?”


“Does that happen to you?”


It emerges from conversation that he is eighty years old, missing a fifth of his esophagus and survives on a diet a soup, pudding and canned pasta.

“You working on a novel currently?”

“I am.” He nods vigorously, flinging tears.

“What’s it about?”

“Imagine a park,” he says, “somewhat smaller than Gage Park, and a university campus, a little larger than McMaster.”


“Now imagine a young man lying unconscious in the snow. He’s lost his coat in a poker game. There’s a snow storm…”

I become concerned that he’s going to take me through the tale page by page. I begin to hope that he’s no more than a couple chapters into it so far. But the story gets interesting. The young man is rescued by a woman and whisked off to her off-planet military base commanded by the god, Jupiter. The woman who rescued him turns out to be none other than Wonder Woman.

“So this base is on planet Jupiter?”

“No. The God is Jupiter.” He’s dead serious about this story, by the way. It’s no parody.

“Right. Sorry.”

In a nutshell: the fellow is treated for hypothermia, which involves a blood transfusion. He recovers and is recruited into the military/intelligence organization where his career prospers and he soon falls under the direct supervision of Wonder Woman; his former rescuer. Here’s the hitch: There arises much tension between he and Wonder Woman because he is her subordinate yet attains more clout than she; becomes more connected within the upper echelon of the organization, and why? Because it turns out the doctors accidentally used… ready for this? Female blood for his transfusion, and now he is becoming transgendered and employing his female side and sleeping with the brass.

I can’t lie. I’m dying to read this story.  

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