The Author

I've answered too many questions about vocation - far too many about the heart and past relationships. Questions that, by all my considerations, were the least interesting and the most unoriginal questions I’ve ever encountered. These questions - in their roteness, their dullness, their pathetic attempts at human connection - still unduly drained my energy, even though I could answer them half dressed from the  comfort of my apartment. Today’s the last day of my, so called, “book tour” - hardly deserving the title, given it covers my worst writing to date! 

“The boy and the Swallow”, an unoriginal enemies-to-lovers smut novel, was meant to be an indictment on the genre as a whole. I’m hardly the first creative to trap themselves this way. Now, for my sins, my email is filled with shit like,

i want you to fuck me like im a useless brainless slut i am just like axel fucks Risa after her second transformation i want you to ravish my body like my boyfriend never does. I want your next five books to be about me. i want to be your slave i need you to master me

With Much Love,

Genevieve D-----

(---) --------

W--------- Elementary School, VP 

It's a tragedy how ugly they all end up being. Maybe, a proper tour would have allowed me to be more selective with how I keep the night away.

My phone starts to vibrate

“I’m in an interview right now”

“And I’m outside.”

“Good for you. I have shit to finish up.”

“You asked for a ride and now I’m here. I’m leaving in five.”

“Piece of shit. You can’t show up an hour early and…”

“Frederick you’re unmuted.”


“Genevieve over again?”

“No, it’s the…”

“Frederick we only need a few more minutes and there are a lot of people watching this right…”

I hang up the phone.

“I'm sorry. It's ok. Ask me the question again.”

“Your scene between Risa and Axel: was it inspired by any of your real…”

I close the computer.

Pressing the heels of my palms into my eye sockets and grinding them radially, I see those wispy shapes, mixed with dirty snow, that I became extensively familiar with as a teenager. I shouldn’t need the money. I do need the money, though. I bought into some stupid fucking shit because some guy used the words “democratization” and “decentralization” before I learned both were bullshit. The same frustration with the state of affairs that evaporated my net worth is the frustration that led me to write the slop I’m living off now! Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on



“One second.”


“Your five minutes are up.”

“If they were, you’d be gone. I need to get ready.”

“Well, I’ll be right here until then. You’re half dressed already. You do still own pants, right?”

“Funny. Give me a few minutes.”

I go into my bedroom and find a pair of jeans that I think go quite well with the sports coat I put on for the interview. I put the knee under the bathroom sink for a tenth of a second and rub it a bunch with my bath towel to get the yet unidentified smudge out that might taint my appearance for the rest of the day. It’s not working so I get a little hand soap, cup my hand and try to quickly shift the whole assembly over the jeans, which I had laid onto the toilet. Stepping rapidly to the side, I kick and trip over my cat (Carnage), fail to catch myself on the door due to my slippery hands, and for the second time today my left eye socket sees dirty snow - this time from the toilet paper holder.

I hit the ground hard, but not as hard as one might think given all the crashing and cat screaming  taking place. An appropriately sized groan peters out of my lips. A groan such that an onlooker might be uncertain when asked “that noise just now, was that pleasure or pain?” my friend (Andy), doesn’t care to pay attention to the crash so he misses my performative act of rolling back and forth in front of the toilet. He doesn’t see that the jeans have slid off the toilet and onto my legs in exactly such a way that maybe if you took a photo from the ceiling you might actually think that I was wearing them already!

Eventually, realizing that no one was coming to help me, I stand up to put on my pants - the knee simultaneously a little soggy and a little crusty. My knee feels much the same. I stand there for a few seconds then pull them back down around my ankles, sit down, and take a shit. After I finish, I look at the toilet paper roll outside the bathroom. Based on the unfurling patterns visible in the trail it left behind, about 40% of its journey can be attributed to my fall and apparent launching of it and the other 60% by Carnage’s stress-playing with it after all the commotion. Doing my best not to reinjure my battered ego, I hobble across the bathroom and somewhat into my bedroom (the door is closed) and pick up the now mostly depleted roll. Humbled, I make an equally embarrassing walk back to the toilet seat where I finish my business.

My legs shake a little as I stand up and take a slow step back in front of my bathroom mirror. My left eye already looks horrible and the right even took some collateral damage. This disfigurement, accompanied by the fact that I'm already an ugly piece of shit, nearly sent me over the edge. Fortunately, I still needed to brush my teeth. I contemplate shaving but look at my frankly fucked up disposable razor and figure that avoiding it is more hygienic for the time being. Carnage is stress meowing at the bedroom door, andy is playing clash of clans on my couch, and I am using a small wad of toilet paper to dry the edge of the counter, my bathroom door handle, and the knee of my jeans. I ignore the toilet paper crumbs that get left behind on my knee and go back into the living room

“Jesus, you look horrible.”


“CVS has ice, we can grab some while we’re there.”

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