Design by KumaKoo Productions - Manhattan, New York USA
I simply woke up one morning and had to write a novel. “What’s up with that?” I thought. The computer was not in working order, so out came the typewriter. Rewrites were difficult but manageable with a bizarre numbering system that even the best mathematician couldn’t calculate. All in all, it went well. I started the first story. Then I had an idea for another and started it. Eventually, I purchased another computer: faster, additional memory, and all-around better. The writing was going well. One evening around seven o’clock, after having dinner with my parents, I stopped at the Mesquite branch of the Phoenix Public Library in Paradise Valley, Arizona (I was living in AZ then). I was looking for a telephone directory to find real estate agents in Manhattan. I planned to move there within the next year. Of course, there was none. However, as I crouched down and looked across the shelf at the bottom of the bookcase, I heard a man’s soft voice sounding from my left. “Excuse me, Miss.” I looked up. “Yes,” I whispered back as I stood up. Once fully upright, I looked down at him slightly. That made me think, why is always the short men that are trying to get my attention. Not that I’m that tall at 5’8”. “Hum,” I thought silently and waited for him to speak first for I had not approached him, he had approached me and a slight suspicious chord in me felt he had an ulterior motive. “Can I ask you something?” he asked.“Sure,” I answered. He pretended to be coy, or so it seemed as he looked down, then back up at me when he asked, “What do you do for a living?” I’m a writer,” I said and went back to looking at the directories. All throughout the conversation, I showed little to no interest in him whatsoever because there was none.He smirked. I should have known better and walked away after that, but I remained. “I thought you might be,” he said in a way as if he knew something I did not.I frowned slightly at him. “And why might that be?”He shrugged. “You look like a writer; you know...creative.” I nodded slightly, then looked around to see whether anyone else saw this guy or was I the only one. A few people saw him, mostly because his tone was a bit loud for the library.“What can I do for you?” I asked, attempting to hurry along whatever this was. Was he attempting to pick me up? That wasn’t going to happen. He was not my type—too short, too cocky, and generally average.“Well...,” he said, pausing slightly, “First let me introduce myself. I’m Jeffrey.” He paused again, thinking I would volunteer my name, but I didn’t. I just looked at him, waiting as if he had more to say about himself.“What is your name?” he asked.Allina,” I said.“Hi, Allina. Do you have a minute to talk with me?”“Isn’t that what we’ve been doing?”He smirked again, and I didn’t like that. I don’t like people that smirk. It’s creepy and somehow underhanded. “Yeah, we have been.” He paused again as if he was trying to mastermind something intelligent to say. “Where are you from?”“What do you want?” I asked him straight out.“Did you ever think about writing a novel?”“I already do that?” “Anything I would have read?”“How would I know?” There was that smirk again. So sarcastic that I wanted to turn and walk away. Instead, I turned my attention to the bookshelf and finished looking for the directory.“What are you looking for?” he asked.“Just something.”“So, did you ever think about writing a novel about illegal sports gambling and the mob?”“No, not particularly. Why? Have you?” I asked.“I’m not a writer. But, what if someone paid you to write about that? Would you do it?”“I know nothing about either,” I said.His eyebrows jolted up in the strangest, most disbelieving fashion, and I truly had no idea why. What was it that I said that made him react that way? Or was it that he knew something that I didn’t? Something about me? Bored with him, I returned my attention to the telephone directories.“What if I asked you to write a novel about illegal sports gambling and the mob? Would you do it?”Releasing an uninterested sigh, I turned and looked at him. “No, I don’t think I would.”“Not even for the right amount of money?”“I don’t know enough about the subjects to write intelligently about them.” “It would be fiction. There’s already enough factual books out there on those subjects,” he said as he held out two books to me: one on the mafia and one on sports gambling.“So, you’re asking me whether I will write a book for you on those subjects. Why?”He suddenly got quiet. He looked down to the books, but when he looked back up to me, he said, “I had a friend that was killed by the mob because of illegal sports gambling.”Please don’t think I’m mean, but to myself I thought, “Why are people always telling me these sorts of things? What’s wrong with people? Do I look like a psychiatrist? Do I look like someone that wants to hear their deepest darkest secrets and problems? I must because here is, yet, another person unloading on me.