Loser's Guide to Life
Why do people choose to read a novel? How do they decide to take on the burden of going through this intolerably long work of something that eventually turns out to be pure fiction? A better question: why do people write novels?
“No, I really don't know” B. said to himself, looking at Marek's scuffed notebook, which he knew to contain parts of some sort of novel, composed and commented on by Marek himself over the last few months. The whole thing now seemed to be no fun, however. Marek sat there drinking a coffee with large, miserable gulps.
A few months ago he had been like a proud mayor unveiling plans for a new park, full of fountains and wild animals. Now he was always frowning about something, indulging, as it seemed, in a kind of mute kvetching about the world. No newspaper left his hands uncrumpled, no TV interview failed to provoke a faint hiss of revulsion.
What started out as an interesting adventure, thought B., has become his Vietnam!
At about the time that B. was fantasizing about saying, “Well, I've had enough of this”, Marek suddenly pulled his belongings together—his canvas bag, his pens, notebook, plastic refillable lidded coffee mug—and gave a sigh of defeat. It was the sort of sigh that should have been the last of a series.
“I've had enough of this”, said Marek
And so they were going to head out into the winter evening, and the sky was a brilliant mess.
“Aren't you coming?” asked Marek. “I thought we'd go to the Shepherd's Arms for some relaxation.”
“No, that's all right. You go,” said B. “I'll just stay here and, uh ... try to think of something.”