Delightful seeing you, laddie buck. Do sit down. Would you like a drink? Feel free to help yourself. I presume you are somewhere you can do so, hah-ha. No danger to my own, more valuable, liquor supply, as it were. Libation in hand now? A sporting dog nearby, perhaps? They help to keep the blood pressure down, you know, but that’s nihil ad rem. To business. The time has come to talk about how you are going to earn your living in the modern world.
Dash it all, that was thoughtless of me to spring it on you unawares. Now you’ve spilled some of your drink. Five second rule, you know, applies to sucking expensive scotch out of carpeting. Better? Now don’t be so afraid. You knew someday you would come face to face with this problem. You’re nearly six feet tall; you can’t go on pretending to be a jockey. So what, pray tell, will you pretend to be?
Good god, man. You didn’t think I meant you actually had to work, did you? Are you sure you’re cut out for this life? You seem, pardon my candor, but you seem rather witless. That five second rule for scotch, for instance, was actually a joke. I’d have stopped you but I was interested in your gusto for the project.
Never mind. We must decide what it is you will spend the next several years pretending to be. Here are the best options, and believe me, generations have gone into refining this list. You do not want to choose this time to be creative. You may select among the following:
1) Raffish, bold, sensitive, jaded writer
2) Cultured, alcoholic, sensitive, paranoiac artist
3) Suave and vaguely effeminate confidence trickster
4) Uber-suave and openly homosexual (while secretly a roaring heterosexual) masked adventurer
5) Consummately suave gentleman thief
6) Ridiculously suave serial killer
So, you see, although there are only six opportunities it provides a wide range.
Being a writer is an excellent choice for those who aspire to be distinguished modern gentlemen but unfortunately possess repugnant personalities, no fashion sense, a dead palate, a tin ear, and a complete lack of rhythm. Your story is that you have abandoned all your earlier work. Yes, you were published. You wrote under a pen name and made a bloody fortune but the art wasn’t there; you felt like an odorous hack, a foul, punk pretender to success. You have chosen to chuck it all, to free yourself from your cack-handed success so you may explore the language anew with a fresh voice. You dare not even divulge the name under which you wrote, lest the drab commercial part of you come thundering back, insistent with its need for yet another Porsche, when all you’ve ever really wanted was a used Bentley and a proud Asian to drive you around in it.
No matter how horrible and unpersonable a cad you might be, if you claim to be a writer then you will enjoy the part of society’s magical sauce which ensures that other people are therefore fascinated and inclined to protect and nurture you. This is probably just as well. We’d have long since run out of writers otherwise.
But now there is a dalliance which requires my attention, so we defer discussion of the other callings for another time. I’ll let you find your way out, if I may.
Yr obt svt,