This is the part of the book where the author intends to tell you all about what is to come, about how this collection of short stories or whatever stems from an introspective review of mankind as well as a whole bunch of other hokum which really amounts to him attempting to come up with some sort of excuse to not have to write any long form narrative because he’s gotten too lazy.
Too bad, huh? I mean, I’m sure you really wouldn’t have expected him ending it with a dedication to his family for all the support they have given him as he has worked and toiled long hours to perfect this majestic art.
Because, you know, it’s so incredibly original, right?
Not that there’s much original to be found anymore.
As an all-seeing and all-knowing being, I have quite literally seen everything.
The good. The bad. The utterly disturbing.
What’s left to see when you’ve witnessed the precise definition of everything?
What is possibly left for the imagination?
My job may seem simple, to narrate a well-crafted story to entertain and amuse you, but when every story ever told boils down to a mere handful of different types of conflict, everything feels as though it has been done before.
Heck, even my name is unoriginal. The Narrator: One who narrates.
How is it that we, the beings who feed the imaginations of the universe, have such an unimaginative moniker as Narrator.
It wasn’t always this way. At one time we were so much more. The Greeks called us The Muses. They knew how to respect our powers.
Not that I can blame you. We do so little today. At the heights of Greece’s power, we were unstoppable. Ever heard of the Greek tragedy? I didn’t come up with it, but it was one of us who did.
Today, the best we come up with is finding new ways to make monsters sexy.
Who wants monsters to be sexy?
The other narrators say I’m simply caught in a rut.
A deep rut, if you ask me. I’ve even found myself attempting to tell stories about psychopathic pandas finding violent love with Bill Pullman in the wilds of New Zealand, but they weren’t nearly as surprising as you would expect. Spoiler alert: They were actually homosexual sloths dreaming about what it would be like to own argyle socks. The homosexuality, of course, wasn’t integral to the story, just something which happened to be true. The argyle socks, on the other hand, ended up being far more important to the story than even I could have expected. But even then, they still were entirely predictable.
This is my job. My cosmic duty. I am here to tell stories. To entertain and inform. An eternity of relating the same seven basic plots.
I have no other options.
As an eternal being, I can’t off myself. The closest thing we have to death is to lose the ear of the people. That may not seem so bad, but consider it as an never-ending moment being held in that feeling you get when you’re in the self-checkout line at Target when all the machines are in use.
You don’t look at the other patrons because you don’t wish to appear pushy, but can’t help noticing the lady in front of you has been attempting to scan that single banana for what feels like an hour already and the red shirt who is supposed to be helping her is busy trying to replace the receipt paper in another machine and you are struggling to fight the urge to push the old lady out of the way, so you can pay the two dollars and ninety-nine cents plus tax for your niece’s birthday card and get back home so you can finally watch the latest episode of The Good Place before falling asleep with your phone in your hand.
An eternity of moderate impatient annoyance fueled by an impossibly hot rage. It might not seem so bad for the first thousand years or so, but that stuff really builds up on a guy, or, you know, an eternal omniscient non-gendered being.
And so, I’m forever sentenced to this fate of hoping I can come up with something new to say. Or at least a new way to say it. Or, at the very least, something to do to while away the rest of eternity.
Read on. Maybe I’ll have more to say about that Target thing. I haven’t decided yet.
Oh, and the intro left off by telling you about the inspiration for the first story. It wasn’t very inspiring…