He was in his mid-fourties, and as an aspiring writer he should have had at least some minor tales to tell, has achieved to get a few of his poems or short stories published in one of the many anonymous, small-circulation press publications, or even like some of the aspiring writers have published a break-through publication of a novel, surrounded by much beating of the drum in the popular press’ book review sections, but none were yet to be found on A.N.’s writer’s resume, in fact, he had not yet written a single letter of fiction in his whole entire life. If to be a writer meant that you actually would have to spent your time writing, he would probably not even yet qualify for the epithet.
Yet, in heart and mind A.N. was and thus called himself a writer. Where you only a writer once a random arbiter of your work decided in his uneducated estimation that grew from his gut that he would be able to make a profit printing and selling your writings? And depended the profitability more on the cost of paper, the number of pages, the number of fools to buy your writings, the profit margin, and would you be a writer if decided to bind your writing in glossy paper so customers would be willing to pay more, being under the lawful impression to gain something more valuable, than bound in gray brown, recycled paper? Or where you a writer if you were born with the wealth to print your own work, or if you were a better marketeer, if you were young and good-looking, and thus fit to promote your work in the fashionable world of modern media?
Where you a writer writing ten pages a week or twenty, twenty-one per haps, should the pages be counted in letter or legal format, single-spaced or double-spaced? Was punctuation and spacial formatting allowed to be part of the writing? But sometimes, one word, two words could form a phrase and some of those single phrases could hit you harder, sounded more clear and sound than the lexis eiromene of some over-zealous Proustian pupil. And how about silence, I am not even talking about silence. A.N. remembered the phaistos disk, a disk of no more than fourteen inches, but one that put back time of history, despite that no one had deciphered one half of it and it still represented a mystery to men chased by many wise scholars. They had found clay tablets burned and baked in consequence by the fire, not larger than the size of my little finger, with no more than three barely readable pictograms in a language only readable by few, were these scribants, scholars in their time, writers? The most famous epics of mankind, Gilgamesh, the Old Testament and Iliad and the Odyssee, written in the highest style and transcending generations, but the writers were lost men who anonymously labored to put their genial thoughts to persistent form, were they better writers?
But as a writer in thought, A.N. perceived the world and its characters in a comprehensive albeit in a totally fictional fashion. Despite the fact that he had never put a letter to the paper, he reveiled his stories in living characters of men around him, and the exceptional events that make up the read threat and plot of a story in the common events of his ordinary life. The Polish girl who grew up in a small desolated village in Poland and whose mother infatuated the American good-heart who took her mother and her every year to the popular holiday resort of Sham-al-Sheik at the Red Sea, where she fell in love with an Egyptian student, so she now studies Arabic at Harvard University in Boston. The Chinese woman in front of the Public Library on Broadway, next to Columbia University, who holds up two plastic boxes each holding two baby turtles, as she shouts at every passer-by, ‘tuttels, tuttels’ with three more boxes between her legs, sticking out one of the boxes in her hand to you. The fifty-three year old man posing nude in the evening hours at the New York Academy of Arts in front of a group of semi-talented part-time art students, half of them women his age but of different stature, and despite standing naked in front of all these strangers, none exchange a single word with him during three long hours in which he barely moves or let alone take a noticable breath. And all these stories he had written many many times in his head, he had told them over and over to strangers and friends and he imagined he was a great writer, perhaps even greater than many famous authors in his time.