Printer Friendly

The Prize Winner.

"After twenty years of writing, I believe that I can write good stories."

"Stop rambling, mourning, crying, Neglected."

"What do you think about writing? I'm a damn good author."

"I know. How many prizes have you won? So far, I have three under my belt. I'm a heavy weight fighter in this ring."

"John Futile-Blind, a prize doesn't mean anything. I guess you're one of the writers who believe that writing doesn't need to be about anything. You simply write for the sake of writing and believe that you can deconstruct our views whenever you feel like it."

"Oh, yes! That's why I'm great, i write for the sake of nothing, and I win prizes."

"Do you know that nothing doesn't exist, and you're always writing about something?"

"Yes, I write about nothing. That's it."

"Again, Futile-Blind, to write about nothing you have to publish blank pages."

"Neglected, then no body would read my stories."

"It's the contrary. People don't read my stories since I write about something to force them to think and to properly consider who they are."

"I don't really have to do that. I just entertain the populace with my stories."

"I know this is what you do. For instance, I hammer my brain with heavy reflections. In return, I am read by a highly selected group of people, yet I don't win prizes. Good writings don't become popular instantly. People have to read the pages and to think about the lines in order to understand them. This isn't something you can require of the audience since most people prefer blank pages, something that they can either read while watching Judge Judy or Jerry Springer on the mockery networks."

"Neglected, I've got to have an audience. I write for the sake of writing. It doesn't have to be about anything."

"So, Futile-Blind, you admit that you publish blank pages."

"Today prestige isn't about the impact you make in society. Prestige is about how many prizes you have won."

"I understand your point now, and why you write the way you do, Futile-Blind. You help me figure out that any form of intelligence isn't really appreciated in society, but it's simply the achievement of the individual that matters."

"Of course, you can view it like that."

"Then, you mean dunces can win prizes too in that contest for prestige?"

"This is the liberalization of the literary community. Everyone has a chance to stand out among the few."

"I see. So, it's worthless to scribble any reflection of our intelligence on paper. We should all focus on the need to entertain the masses."

"What do you mean, Neglected?"

"A heavy weight winner is unable to explain a proper right punch ... I just don't understand it. How did you knock out your opponents and got your belts, Champs?"

"I got them by writing about nothing."

"Your words explain everything."

Neglected got up from the table since he felt exasperated and tired. He told Futile-Blind:

"It's getting late. I have to go home. My wife is waiting for me. She went to rent a movie and asked to come home early so that we could watch it together."

"I hope to see you before the year's end. We don't share our time anymore. Human relation is the only aspect that keeps friendships alive. I wish you placed the memories of our youth before the quest for fame and wealth." Futile-Blind said to start a discussion on friendship with Neglected.

"Humm!" He retorted.

Neglected said nothing. Only a heavy sigh escaped his lips afterwards. He walked out the coffee shop while wanting to tell Futile-Blind, "You're the first to abandon everything," but he noticed there was no time to pick another subject for a debate. So, he simply walked out the shop.

As he was contemplating when to go back home, a deep sense of self-accomplishment helped settle his wounded thoughts. The disappointment suddenly fled like a sheep being hunted, but Neglected knew sometimes it was necessary to evade the environment and the hatred that was like the trail of an hyena to avoid simply to protect oneself from being brutally eating alive in this human jungle. He knew there was and still will never be any mercy for those who cannot adapt to the cruel cycle of this system. He hoped that people appreciated the fact that his attitude conveyed a finer message than this situation has ever been able to depict him. He was content to show the world that his intellectual balance allowed him the opportunity to walk on solid grounds, and his steps revealed that great minds did not need to mourn the triviality of the world in order to find meaning in their existence. Failing to understand him, Futile-Blind stated again:

"You cried because you won no prize, friend."

"Only a writer, who writes about nothing, believing he's writing for the sake of writing, would say such a thing." He whispered these words, but they appeared inaudible to Futile-Blind.

"Pardon!" He said in return.

Since they escaped him, he pretended to be distracted by the sound of a fell cup behind him. The thought came to the tip of his tongue. Again, he withheld it simply to spare him the bruises that his reflection could inflict upon the dull mind.

His once best friend was acting quite strange because of his empty achievements. He imagined all these things, and he had a lot to say. He refused to tell Futile-Blind anything since it really was unnecessary to dwell on this situation. He had no time to let this occurrence affect and influence his mood. He was simply set to have a wonderful time with his wife. Before parting from John, he turned around to tell him: "It's a great pity to disturb the mind of the prophet who prophesied empty lines on blank pages." Then, he really turned on his heals to head towards his way home. Futile-Blind stood still to stare into the void since he neither could think nor imagine what to answer right away. So, he just stood there like a fool wondering about what to do next.

There are a lot of coffee shops on Cote Des Neiges. Neglected delighted in going to the shops. They are just a walking distance from his house, and many students from the University de Montreal, Concordia University, and McGill spent their afternoons there reading and discussing various subjects that they have glimpsed at in the classrooms. He loved seeing this aspect of the Cote des Neiges area. The few he thought were interested in finding their identity always enjoyed a rich conversation. This brought him pleasure. Being young and candid, dreaming about the future and its illusion, "they always talk like a Napoleon in his youth," he told his wife. And, Neglected perceived something really disconcerting among them one afternoon. He overheard a young man speaking, and that made him think even harder at the kind of information that the youths were absorbing from the books. He told his wife:

"Believing the world was a straight path to walk in order to achieve his dreams, the boy kept on talking like everyone's master. He viewed himself in comparison to this narrow-minded emperor who fancied the notion of marching easily upon humanity to conquer every nation at ease. While shunning the possibility that he could be faced with many obstacles in the battlefields, the guy kept babbling non-stop about his great intellectual capacities. He thought that he was a conqueror of nothing, and that society was waiting for the next Emperor to come change things around, and he kept talking about Nictzsche like he understood anything from his writings."

"So, to say, one day he might run into steel walls like that man when confronting armies that had generals who cultivated their brains well enough to be in charge of their destiny on the British Isle."

"Yet, no one ever imagines this fact as something that allows the ability to decipher the military strategies that could have helped this tyrant reign for a long time."

"Young people are the same, Darling." She answered.

"The defeats, especially the one at Waterloo, were great setbacks that brought shame to his adopted country. And, at that time, no one could convince him about otherwise, nor did the university gibberish intoxicated students believe their education was the preparation for the job market only. It would require much more training in life to become fully grounded in the views of this world. I wish to tell him that, but I just walked away."

"You ought to have done something to wake him from that deep ideological slumber."

"Humans are none the less a confused bunch striving to achieve absolute nothingness from stupidity. Therefore, I said nothing since I realized the students were fooled by the titles of the theories studied and failed to acknowledge these ideas could plunge them in greater confusion in the end." Concluding he made his wife understand that point as a matter of fact.

After having deeply reflected on this situation with his wife, he remembered a particular thing that he said to Futile-Blind, and the words came back to his mind like he uttered them at the cafe. The order of them was like this:

"One needs to fully live life in order to become a considerable thinker."

"I'm living life, my friend." He answered arrogantly.

Neglected had said to John Futile-Blind in order to place his views in the right context. He knew that he was behaving like this not by malice but it was simply because he totally failed to understand the fundamental principle of living. In comparison to the students' on many different occasions when discussing the social issues that affected them, he noticed they were all the same. "Naive!" Yet, John Futile-Blind was too isolated in his own world to understand the meaning of that word. So, one day, as they were having a conversation between them, he told his wife:

"He is also a Napoleon on his approach to the world."

Dolley laughed when she heard him say that, but Futile-Blind stared dead into their eyes, where he still could not see anything of significance to help him understand their judgment. He understood nothing that was said about him. They were basically laying out the qualities of his character on this theoretical canvas, which he could neither decipher the shape nor the lines to begin analyzing the deep rooted problem in his character. Pity! Everything was right before his eyes. Yet, for some reason whatsoever, he appeared unaware of these skillful strokes these social artists were laying bare on the floor to portray him as a trapped fly in the web of ignorance. He joined in the laughter to make a mockery out of himself despite being the cause of their jest.

"Blindness is a real social curse." Dolley then said to communicate her sentiment of empathy to her husband.

Neglected realized afterwards that it was forever worthless to venture in any conversation to ever address him on that ground about literature again. The prizes were perhaps the only substantial things in his life, and that he needed to boast about them in order to feel grand in any kind of way. Somehow, since this issue with John was clarified, his only concerns in the end became the students since they were quite young and psychologically supple enough as new explorers of ideas to be saved from mental dementia. Neglected acknowledged that no social fancy among the youth should be allowed as substitute to replace any form of true intellectualism. He ascertained himself that any person of great knowledge ought to be recognized and praised in all the philosophical spheres of life.

Now that he was thinking about what he heard them said, he felt the greatest sense of urgency to rescue them from this confusion. Specially the ones having held this perspective of the world, believing the human mind is a battlefield ready to be conquered, the students charged forward in any conversation without restraint to win a debate. However, nothing contrary to their beliefs was worth giving the slightest moment of attention to examine. Not even the weakness to reason beyond the limitations of the books was sufficient to warn them about the dilemma of plunging in these philosophical battles head on.

"They act like a battalion that refused to heed the might of its opponent." Neglected confirmed while talking to his wife later that same night. And, he continued. "In usual conversations, at times, they fall under heavy witty shells, yet they still neglect to realize that excellence relies on no artificial sense of grandeur for it to be recognized."

"I can imagine." She said in return.

"I observed this situation a few times but said nothing to render the victims uncomfortable in their stampede to dimness as they rushed to be engaged in dangerous intellectual duels. Their experiences in life were insufficient to sustain their ways while treading this frailty intellectual thread that leads to greatness. I noticed and tried to help them become aware of that fact. Unfortunately, they always refused to listen."

"Confused youngsters ought to be guided by the wiser ones in society. They usually rant like a disarrayed mass that is lost in the midst of its own social struggle. Look at them going like dupes acting drunk in the festival of ignorance." Dolley told him in a way to encourage the desire to always intervene the next time he saw anything of such a nature going on at the cafe.

"Sometimes I do wonder how or from what book they're reading life. The only thing that they seem to understand is really the need to party and to get drunk on weekends."

"The shriek, as we may call it, is an appeal to their mamas and the need for a better sense of direction in life, Love." She whispered tenderly.

"There's a real problem here. What should be their focus? Unlike Nietzsche said, they haven't realized that there is no need for a superhero, human like god to come save us in society. The Modern World is really different from the ancient. This whole philosophical perspective is an aggrandizement of fancy."

"Neglected, nonetheless, you understand their positions. Help them while you can." His wife urged to stop being indifferent if he had ever been.

"I'm doing just that, Honey. Their education is one of my greatest concerns."

"They shouldn't stampede head on in the intellectual battle, but young people always make mistake. Their lack of experience is a social burden. You know that." She incessantly told him.

Somehow, even if he mentioned that to them, he perceived they might take him for a fool. Fortunately, he endlessly proved his mind was a three dimensional artillery fence that couldn't be destroyed easily when conversing with them. He confirmed no disarrayed thought could create a breach in his intellectual lines. It would take more than the books to prepare a blitzkrieg to crush him. Yet, youngsters had nothing but that only to fight with, the books.

"Defeating the ignorance of humankind requires skills in the social fields, which the students do not have yet." This was the fact that Neglected wanted to remind and to help Futile-Blind understand when they were talking at the cafe concerning what consists of a good or bad author. Feeling well-grounded in many areas of philosophy, he hoped to put the students in contact with reality, too. And, more importantly, his friend for being a writer, he wished that he could use every bit of advice that he reckoned from others. Neglected remained modest and never felt distraught since he won no literary prize. His writing was to create a milieu, in which he could live peacefully. The only prize he desired was to elevate their consciousness to a higher level of social awareness.

When he reached home, his wife, Dolley, was sitting in front of the television. The end of July is a time she lived gleefully. The temperature is inviting, and she simply wore a lithe garment to court the afternoon breeze. Neglected felt like a hero coming to her. Her kisses were the trophies that made him feel grand in society. She was a good companion. During their years at university, her mind was the highest mountain peak that he wished to climb. Her thoughts were delicately polished, hard like marble, yet no spike could pierce the layer of her womanhood easily. Only when she revealed a soft spot, a challenger could dip his fingers and feet. Although the way was opened for adventurers to explore, the twists of her tongue still put a metal shield in front of her, which indicated that the pathway was impenetrable and slippery. Neglected made sacrifices with his heart to Eros in order to find the strength to reach his destination. He told her:

"Even today, Darling, you still convince me to praise the God for allowing my love to resign in your arms."

"Oh, Neglected, don't make me blush. I had already chased my shyness away."

"I don't know what I would do, Boo. If I never had you. perhaps I would sculpt a Medusa to worship like Aphrodite expressed her admiration. Nothing in the world could convince me to befriend Persephone in the underworld. You fill my heart with joy."

"I guess Eros is the only child that never grows old."

"Every time I look at you, that's the only time I feel like her, blissful to see winter go. Flowers of love begin to bloom and passion spawns profoundly in my kernel. My heart turns into a garden, where these Greek gods longed ages ago to find refuge as they dreamt to dwell in the Blessed Land. Oh, so lovely Africa was at that time. Homer softened his tongue to serenade the ears of the world with her name."

"Your clever whispers never fail to make my blood twirls down my spine."

"That beauty of yours always inspires the heart to sing a lullaby. I'm glad to have your passion as my devoted audience in this court of love, Dolley."

"These verses are a fountain of joy to me. They put my soul under such a spell."

"Darling, what you are to me can never be put into words, and even to you it's the profound and tender passion from my kisses that are needed to delineate my emotions to you."

"Only if the world could see, all would discover my cheeks are redder than scarlet roses when I lay my eyes on you."

"Your complexion hides not a whit of your gleams. Your smile brightens the darkness of my inner-core when your lips part to let your teeth sparkle. The sun exudes its rays through your bedazzling splendor."

"Oh Neglected, My feet are losing ground under me! Please hold my hands."

"I now hope to help you regain your composure since I'm beseeching all desires to simply lie naked before your feet."

"No, please Love! They are too irresistible to exclude before my eyes."

"Then, take my whole as your medicinal dose. My passion as the vitamin will crush your weakness and fulfill your ceaseless craving."

"Let the night take its course. How was your evening with John Futile-Blind?"

"It's as usual. He believes he's a great author. He's the winner of prizes."

"Honey, of course, he is today, but soon the world will discover he's writing with a white pen on white pages."

"Would you still embark on my journey if I were publishing blank pages?"

"Neglected, your name says it all. I would never be here if you failed to grip at the right spots in order to climb my senses."

"I know to reach your peak is more difficult than to climb Mount-Everest."

"Therefore, let's go watch our film. A blank mind on blank pages could never enchant these eyes. It takes a man like you to win my days, an elegant body with a mind full of thoughts that demonstrate Herculean strength to conquer his own destiny."

"Without you, Boo, it seems like my love would be treated like a waif."

"Take the wine and come over here. The night is getting old and my heart is cold."

"My precious prize, what more should ! yearn than the bliss I find in your arms?"

"Time will reward your thoughts. Your sweetness, wit, and eloquence have created a fanatic in me. Don't worry about anything. The world can't forever ignore so refined a talent like yours."

"Hmm, a good writer never fails to win the perfect prize."

"Hush, please."

"Bear my heart in your hands as it yearns to find shelter in your warmth. Take me and hug me tight. I can't stop longing for this sweetness and to immerse my thoughts in the beauty in your eyes."

"Yes Darling, lie here in my arms. Allow me to till the passion in your heart!"

"O Neglected, hmm! Let silence testify our love to this world. My every thought is always with you, and my joy resigns to die even undoubtedly as a prisoner of your love."
COPYRIGHT 2009 Black Writers' Guild
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Short Fiction
Author:Alexander, Jerry
Article Type:Short story
Date:Sep 22, 2009
Previous Article:The Dance Floor.
Next Article:H. Nigel Thomas, Moving Through Darkness: Book Review.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters