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Short Stories | Contos

WHY?

“Why are you writing, Adam?”, asked the reporter, smiling as if adoring him was a sign of her superiority as a sensitive intelectual human being, kin to him and aware of all things artistic or transcendental. Her legs were great, obviously. Adam was tired of talk shows.

“Why do you report, Marjorie?”, he replied.

She made a smart move:

“Because I’m nosy. Your turn now.”

“Am I obliged to give you an answer?”

“No, you’re not, but I would be grateful if you gave me one.”

“Were not the answers of your previous guests enough?”

“I want more.”

The live audience laughed a bit.

“There’s no more”, explained Adam. “We all say the same thing.”

“No, you don’t.”

“It’s the same bullshit with different garments.”

“That was harsh!” Marjorie took her hand to her tremendous breasts, amidst the laughter. Very intelectual breasts, muse like for horny artists with a character inferior to their works. “What bullshit is that?”

“Don’t you pay attention to your guests?”

The audience was euphoric and her breasts jiggled with movie star emotion.

“Please enlighten us, Adam.”

“We like to tell stories, we’re fond of our imagination, we have some severe childhood trauma, we read a lot, we were prodigal children, we have a mysterious gift, we’ve always been misunderstood and don’t blend in very well, our intelect stood out from the ones of our piers, we write because we are compelled by our talent. Am I covering it all?”

“Pretty much. I can give you that.” Marjorie, for the first time, stared at him as a reporter. “Aren’t those statements true?”

“Who cares? They’re good for sales and self-esteem.” Adam shrugged his shoulders. “We have no idea of what we are saying or doing, as everyone else. Being a writer is no different from being a bus driver or a hairdresser. We do what we do and that is all.”

“Come on!”

“Why the hell should we be any different?” Opening his hands, Adam extended them to the audience. “We have the same needs of you all. That is why some of you read us. We only have the problem of having an activity dependent on large audiences to make a living out of it. We are forced to have some fame to get food on our table. The more you see us as geniuses, the more we fill our stomacs.”

Huge applause, the best joke ever, to be forgotten in the next ten seconds. Adam restrained a burp from his nausea.

Marjorie was smiling as having gas pains.

“What are you trying to say, exactly?”

“I’m saying this mystic is all business. Our crises of creativity, for instance, are just emotional exhaustion, because of the pressure in our lives. Give us money, free us from the pursuit of fame and we will give you the best novels ever. We are workers and our job is presenting our imagination. Put us on a decent pay roll and you’ll get the best of us. We manufacture culture. Pay us as you pay a teacher, a doctor or a bloody politician!”

Now the applause was a serious one, supporting the manifesto. The crowd likes manifestos. People feel their lives matter when making part of thar sort of thing.

“I think you’ll have a banquet on your table, this time, Adrian.”

“Perhaps I ought to thank you for being nosy, I guess.”

Their smile was sincere now. Adam felt some relief.

Saturday, October 10th 2021

Por Nuno Neves

Author of the graphic novel CHRONOS and the cartoon FLOWERS.

To commission illustrations write an email to yossarianisalive@gmail.com

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