A Frantic Day

A Frantic Day

“I have to get these thoughts down,” thought our Miserly; “Must find a place for expedient jotting…”  She had been skimming through a periodical on writing all morning – the forty-five minute rail-ride was over.  The periodical had some very inspirational notions, indeed; she could but not resist reading its every article.  An excited writer, Miserly kept pursuing more technique.  “Well developed characters,” she thought, “A beautiful scene, some things occur, and then… wham!  Of course, the aftermath.”

So many things to do on her day off, she put them mostly aside.  Miserly was seventeen and brilliant.  She jogged to her nearest library and found a quite, lowered desk in the shape of an amoeba, by a large and dull window, without too much external distraction, after signing in.  “A protagonist, a problem, and a solution,” she thought.

“His name was Paul Goodman…” she wrote.  As she began to scribe in a hurried but quick and legible manner, a library worker strolled by, giving Miserly a nonchalant glance.  Miserly knew she must return a nod, or unknown things may occur.  The worker nodded in return, seeing she (Miserly), though frantic, was up to nothing worse than writing.

Miserly described Paul and his plight well.  He was a man in between jobs and in need of one soon.  She alluded to Paul’s selfless desire to live a better life, to work well and provide assistance to those in need, somehow.  It was 4:30 AM.  Paul was on a city sidewalk, and he would have to try to keep himself in proper demeanor to get a good job.  No one would hire him looking exhausted, unkempt, slipshod.

Mr. Goodman’s thoughts were to attain a newspaper and tidy up quickly in his flat.  He would then pursue something on foot from the classifieds.  As he strolled toward a metal newsstand box, two things occurred.  A worker opened the newsstand box to place the papers in the device, and a small car ‘t-boned’ a duly only forty feet away.

Paul made his way quickly to the worker and said, “I would like to buy a paper before you close that box.  Please, kind sir.”  The worker’s name was Mr. Whirley.  He was an assistant editor who happened to still fill the paper boxes once a week, as he did long ago.  Mr. Whirley handed him a paper; took out a small camera and took a picture of the accident as the drivers were making their exodus from the two vehicles; let Paul put his change in the machine; and asked, “What is the hurry with your wanting a paper?  Eager to know the weather?”

“I am in desperate need of a job and am open to most anything legitimate that will pay,” said Paul, “I lost my job and have personal responsibilities.”  “We just had two people leave our department last week,” said Mr. Whirley, “We need a ‘Proofer.’  Do you have any experience in editing, whatsoever?”  “Not professionally,” said Paul, “I am an avid reader of novels, however.”  “Who is your favorite novelist?” asked Mr. Whirley, as he took another picture of the drivers approaching.

“I like the more famous authors and like their style,” said Paul; “My favorite author is currently Stephen King.”  “What would you think about a ten-day temporary job, six hours a morning?” asked Mr. Whirley, “We need the help; I like your enthusiasm; and if you do well we should be able to keep you around.  We need no errors in our articles.”  “I would love that and thank you,” said Paul, considering this offer to be a blessing.  He and Mr. Whirley shook on it, and Mr. Whirley said, “Respond to the ad in the paper that mentions my office before noon, today, and you just may have yourself a new job.”  “Thank you good sir,” said Mr. Goodman, “I do appreciate you and will be there.”

By then the two drivers both asked the two gentleman conversing if they had seen the accident.  They both agreed that they saw what had happened – the driver of the small car failed to heed to a yield sign.  Mr. Whirley had pictures he was sure would be requested for by his paper, the drivers, and their insurance companies.  Thankfully, no one was injured badly.  Before the four people spoke too much about whether anyone was right or wrong, the police pulled up – two cars.  They filed a report; the drivers drove away with the small car receiving a citation; Mr. Whirley went back to work to write up an account for the paper; and Paul went to take a shower.

Paul got the job that day around 11:30 AM and did so well for the first two years that he bought himself an expensive digital camera to celebrate his achievements.  He took up photography as a hobby and even took pictures for the paper and various periodicals from time to time.  Ten years later, he was still loving his job and turned down retirement to work at least one more year.

As for the drivers involved in the accident, they had sore necks, yet they were fine within two weeks and ended up attending the same religious congregation consisting of over 650 people.  The story was what it was to Miserly, meaning that she liked it, hoped others would enjoy it, too.  She had finished it and enjoyed the idea of the worried man finding a job and doing well – he got to play with a nice new camera, too.

She decided it was short and sweet, good enough to submit to the literary publication she was reading through that morning.  She revised her fast-written prose as the 70’s style orange chair creaked as she leaned back in it, knowing she had the better part of twelve entire minutes to finish the revision before having to ask for an hour extension from the librarian.  No one ever enjoyed asking for an extension.  Such an ordeal was the very inspiration for coming back on another day – without question.

Miserly quickly revised her story, re-writing one or two sentences completely, to promote better concision and more proper diction, according to what just had to be more accurate.  She was rather impressed with the story and had one minute left.  Looking up, she saw an older woman, a library attendant, coming her way.  The worker could have been walking in slow motion.  From her attentive reading, Miserly could not see the woman very clearly.

A young man with the semblance of an intelligibly cute elf was walking and reading at the same time – in a library.  Confused, Miserly wondered if she was dreaming.  She was not, however, and just as the librarian was about to speak in a loud manner toward Miserly, the young man walked right into the woman, startling them both.

“Pardon me, ma’am,” said the young man, “I am so very sorry.”  The older woman was ‘ruffled,’ indeed, and Miserly escaped on foot while managing to toss over a wicked grin to the young man.  He gave her a confident nod.  He was cool.  “I will have to submit this story by mail before noon,” thought Miserly, “Hopefully, the magazine will love it.  I have so much to get done.”

She made it out of the library.  She ran into the young man again later in life and they became close companions, both given to the art of literary composition.  The periodical helped Miserly extend and revise her story for a small fee; it was published and praised; and her audience waited for her every word.

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