THIS IS NOT A STORY.
I do not think I can emphasize this enough. To the reader who has come seeking a story, I am sorry that I can offer naught but disappointment. Though, I would like to point out that in disappointing you I am fulfilling familial expectations that I am, in actuality, a disappointment. Thus, my disappointing you in this regard renders my success and accomplishment in, for once, not being a disappointment in the affirmation that I am, indeed, a disappointment.
Now, you might ask, “What end do these pontifications pursue?” And to which I must reply that the end is not significant in and of itself; rather, it is only significant insofar as the journey whereby one comes to the end is significant. If I were, hypothetically, to tell you the end from the beginning, why then we could have quite a mess on our hands because the end would mean nothing to you as it would lack the proper stimulative context. For example, were I to say, “And they fell together with a kiss grotesque only in its comparative voluptuosity to all kisses hitherto had in any corner of the world,” well, needless to say you might have some questions, but you may feel more inclined to think me mad. So what I am saying is that stories embody a certain order, a certain order which is, as the piquant observer might note, entirely lacking in these letters.
And who am I? Well that, I am afraid, is none of your concern, for the words you read require no referential “I” only an imagined one, and I may not exist at all, though, certainly within these words “I” is used and most definitely exists as a mark on your page or screen, and so, though I may not exist, “I” certainly does, and what this “I” is is a disappointment and what this disappointment is concerned with is a book.
Yes, a book.
Not an ordinary or run-of-the-press, type of book, but one that is rather quite extraordinary and whose existence, much like the “I” of this story—which is not actually a story, but rather a disappointment—is much debated within certain circles. And don’t bother about which circles specifically—you’ve certainly a penchant for particularity if I am obliged to comment, which I am not—but know that they discuss the uncertain and extraordinary circumstances surrounding the book and its . . . effects.
The name of this book is unknown, and therefore inconsequential, because one may only discover (as in uncover) the name by reading said book. The trouble with this book, is that once engrossed in its pages the captive reader cannot look away. Try as he might, strong of will, apt of manner, agile of mind, clever and acute, or dumb as a cauliflower, it matters not, for the book holds all who read it captive, and finish they must before they can engage in any speech, act, or thought, unscripted by the book.
Now the exact mechanics of such a device are not to be questioned, for how they function is less important than that you are aware that they do indeed function. Much like language, you need not understand its inner machinations to use it, you must only intuit them in the general sense, and the general sense is what I am trying to convey here, though your lack of intellect and attention does its best to bar my way.
How do I know of such things? I am insulted and the insinuation that I would be involved in such circles as you make explicit in your implication. You ought to be ashamed to call yourself reader, and a distracted reader at that, always looking extra-, supra-, para-, and sub-textual information. And how I came to such information is none of your concern, because if you remember: I do not exist, and this is not a story but a disappointment. So please keep your attention on the task at hand. You were undoubtedly a meager and distracted student.
Now finishing this book is a monumental task, as it is a vast, arcane, and twisted tome. How can I know such things? Well I can’t, I’m simply inferring that from the well-known and scientifically evidenced claim that no one has yet finished the book. Ugh, your questions are as continual as they are unimaginative. How do I know no one has finished it? Because if they had finished it, then the book’s contents would not remain undiscovered! (as in uncovered). And speaking of covering or, rather, the uncovering of the book, this book’s cover is said to be the most compelling of all covers and will entice even the most impoverished of readers—which is why I find myself addressing you.
So, as I have told you from the beginning this is not a story, but rather a notice of sorts. Please stay from the reading of unnamed and uncredited books, as enticing as their cover may appear. And be certain, absolutely certain, to steer clear of the aforementioned circles.
And to all who may be looking for some double, or diverted-meaning, or telling connotation in this text, to you I give the utmost honor and greatest respect as can be given an undue reader in a firm one-fingered salute. In the words of Mark Twain,
“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. – BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR”
Then again, perhaps that quote is deployed as inarticulately as it is employed inappropriately because I am certainly not the author and, as I must keep insisting, I do not exist and so am incapable of carrying out any such sentence. Not sentence as in, “sentences are the smaller divisions of language which, when strung together, make up a paragraph,” but sentence as in punishment, castigation, “just-desserts,” retribution, penalty, etc. and so on you buffoon!
What is this one-fingered salute you ask? Well, go and ask your favorite politician and they’ll be kind enough to explain, though they may go about it in a more round-about (circumspect) fashion than you expect.