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Everyone has seen those films — usually a sex comedy about high school or college — in which an alluring character is introduced to the plot with the use of soft lighting, swoony music, and, depending on the level of writing, induced drooling from the other characters in the film. Said character enters the library or cafeteria and the music hits its stride. Every other character, but most notably the main character, is dumbfounded — nay, lobotomized — by the sheer sensuality and god-like nature of that which has just walked in.
Life, we are led to believe, was nothing before this divine event. No life. No box-office. What boisterous, if unbelievable, shenanigans will the hero have to go through to get the guy or girl of his or her dreams?
And will it be worth it? We, every one of us, are only looking for a good time, after all. Nobody expects a rom-com to change their life. Logan Brandish. I was destined to be a writer, it seems, with a name like that. I have even managed to amass a firm little nest egg from what was, at one time, a dubious career choice. Especially when they want me to meet with a new editor.
And, now that introductions are out of the way, so starts my tale. To put it plainly, I was pigging out. My new editor had yet to arrive and I had already ordered half the menu and was on my second Long Island iced tea. Though, in my defense, all thirteen dishes on the table were in nice rows, perfectly laid out. I was a stickler for order and conformity.
Normally when meeting with an editor I would arrive early to look over my notes for my new project. But my notes had been destroyed. By me. In a fit of anger and self-ridicule. All that was left was a single piece of paper which now lay on the table, a small dab of shrimp cocktail sauce on the right corner. Who cares. It was for precisely this reason, I suppose, my publisher at Hillside Books decided to send me a new editor.
They could tell I was having issues and thought maybe an editor could help. This is when editors start to resemble mean drill sergeants. There were going to be some major battles in the coming weeks and months. Most likely their thinking was that if they started things out between me and this new editor, a Mr. Brock Kimble, in a chic hotel restaurant where there were other people around things would not so quickly dissolve into a sparring match like it had with the last editor they sent me.
I was not going to knock over the gorgeous pastry tables or throw dishes at the large crystal chandelier, even if the thought did cross my mind. I was a nice guy. I would not be throwing the wine into the cascading fountain or slap some passing waitress across the face just for being too near to me. But I had decided I would not be so easily soothed either.
Kimble one smile. My tolerance was worn thin already. Like that Kool-Aid t-shirt I had kept since high school and refused to throw away. Worn thin. Kimble would have to get by on my curt and dismissive answers and challenging stares. I was very proud of myself for deciding all of this.
It was written like a script in my brain. Into the restaurant walked what could only be described albeit inadequately as a stunning man. I swear, the room went silent and everything crawled in his presence. He was dressed in a dark suit, buttoned properly so that it showed a tapered waist. His hair was dark, as were his eyes. In fact, he was so pretty I found myself gagging. Then I realized that the chicken wing was still halfway crammed down my throat.
Silly me. I spat it out just as his eyes focused on mine. The chicken landed on the plate with a resounding echo and my face, I could tell via the flames of my embarrassment, was flushed. My ears were most likely bright red as well. But it was. And he was soon standing over me, grinning. He looked at my table and the mess I had made. A bit of leftover chicken flew out of my mouth and onto the table, in front of his crotch.
Humiliation complete. Lesson learned. People were looking at me disapprovingly for daring to nearly die in public. Wish I had had a photo of you. That did not sound right even though the implication was very near the mark. By golly! He was pretty! All writers have the same look of social discomfort and inferiority. I can only imagine what I must have looked like sitting there with him.
How others saw me. He ordered his drink with style. He did everything with style. He was fluid. He was Henry Higgins. I was Nell, still choking up bits of chicken. My plan to be subtle and aloof was lost. He must have heard that question and intonation before. His smile jarred the room. Wink wink. Eyes bright. Eyes full of mischief. Or Logan? So, what have you got to show me? The fact is, since the destruction of my notes I had only gotten as far as the first sentence.
Fifteen versions of the first sentence. There once was a trireme from Kent. Trireme Irene had seventeen children. Triremes are big big boats powered by angry muscle bottoms. All aboard! The first sentence gets things going. Unfortunately for me, the first sentence of any new manuscript is like pushing a basketball out my urethra. I shrugged and gave a half smile. That worked to get me out of trouble sometimes.
I looked so All-American people sang at me when the National Anthem was played at ball games. Know what I mean, Jelly bean! A silly, gorgeous man. A handsome young waiter brought Mr. Kimble his drink and I noticed a lingering gaze between the two. Here was a lovely gay man and I had, quite purposely, sabotaged any chance I had with him. He had even said I had cute ears. I had most likely put him off eating for the rest of his life with the whole chicken debacle.
The waiter looked at me, disinterested, and asked if I needed anything more. Go away, little bird.
He had a stable albeit boring boyfriend Curtis , had written some popular romance book Trouble , and a female best friend Janey. The gorgeous new editor kept telling him how crap his new book was, even the manuscript that Logan felt good in writing was trashed so he abandoned it. Logan and Brock started to sleep together. They did that and kinda broke up. Remembering what Brock told him, he decided to take vacation to Europe.
Galley Proof (2012)
Galley Proof (2012)