Denouement – Pierce – Discount Novelty Editing for Begrinners
The Novel in Short: After graduating from university with a degree in business, Dustin has a problem. He needs to figure out a way to break through the confines that the world has built for him. The confines of middling employment opportunities, family expectations, and the small imaginations of others. Luckily, he’s not alone. With his monkey sidekick, Dustin braves the hazards of the real world, demonstrating his own unique brand of hippy entrepreneurship.
Novel Editing Motto: When you dare to begrin, that’s when the real fun begins.
Sound business advice for begrinners: Occasionally, you have to give up monetary compensation and work for chaos and punk rock.
Fluctuat nec mergitur (It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink) – Unknown
I meet Pierce in this little diner not too far from my work in the city. It’s a slovenly dive that serves greasy food, gritty coffee, and has waitresses several sizes too big and too small, but it’s nice because people from my work don’t usually frequent there. People from my work kind of suck in an overtly successful, wear it on your sleeve kind of way. I won’t go into the details, but anyway, they’re mostly people you want to keep away from your kids.
I see Pierce but I don’t recognize him right away. “Ah, look at you. You look…well, a little fat and bald.”
“My thirties haven’t been kind to me,” he says with that same ironic smile. I notice immediately though that he’s really low energy. He hasn’t really “figured things out” the way adults are supposed to at his age.
“Nice suit,” he says. “Never thought I’d see you in a suit. Looks expensive.”
“I only wear it to impress my fat, balding university friends.” I try to say it in a joking, lovingly way, but immediately I realize I sound like the kind of overly competitive asshole who usually works in my office.
We have some small talk. Things I don’t want to divulge because it might give you too many clues as to my real identity and what happened to me at the end of this story.
I get down to business. “So, I need you to continue the work you started for me years ago. I need you to hammer this manuscript into shape. Smooth over the edges. Cross the ‘t’s. All that nonsense.”
He looks through the manuscript I have prepared for him.
“Why now?” he asks.
“I think that should be obvious.”
“Does the world really need one more half-baked, lazy attempt to bring sense to the nonsense of the world?”
The typical schtick of a defeatist liberal arts major bitter at other people’s success. I don’t hold it against him though, because well, he’s Pierce. And he’ll always be royalty to me.
“Let’s just say this – it might be lazy nonsense. But it also might be the most important lazy nonsense ever written..”
“Because of…” He doesn’t finish the sentence because I won’t let him. It’s too early.
He looks through the manuscript.
“Hmmmm…I see…I see…” It takes him about twenty minutes to speed read the entire thing, or at least read enough to get an idea of what’s going on.
He looks up. “I don’t think I should edit this.”
“What? Why? You said yourself, I tend to write like a middle-schooler on speed. I need you, damn it!”
“Yeah. I know. It’s a bag of word vomit and dicks, but it works.”
“You realize I have a wad a money in my pocket right now I’m prepared to part with. All you’d have to do is tell me the truth — which is that it’s horribly written– then make up some other imaginary problems to get my price up, and then, wa-la, you’re walking out of her with my wad of cash and probably wearing my expensive suit to boot.”
He wrinkles his brow at me. He’s a terrible business man and we both know it. He’s also a great friend and probably would have edited my dumpster fire for free.
“You know, instead of editing out the errors from the manuscript, why don’t we make it more of what it already is. Why don’t we add more errors, omissions, crude jokes, things that don’t quite work? It should be like a…”
I finish his sentence. “Like a rock concert where I bite the head off a chicken.”
“…or play your last song from a flaming guitar.”
I nod my head. “More punk rock.”
“More chaos,” he affirms.
“You know, Pierce, you’re a piece of shit, over-talented, non-hustling, workaholic, well…decent, if ineffectual, person. But, every once in awhile you say something that makes me think you’re not the most useless person in the world.”
I see one of my colleagues pass by the window and I do my best to cover my face with the menu.
Pierce looks confused. “Scared of being seen with me?”
“Scared of being seen in this place. My coworkers look down on those who eat with the plebs.”
“You used to call them the Extraordinary League of Shitty White Monied Aristocratic Assholes.”
“That was a lifetime ago. And now, they’re in power. More than anyone could ever know. Will you take the job?”
“Yeah, maybe. But keep your damned money. I only work for the gods of punk rock and chaos.”
“Fucking aye, Pierce. You stole my line.”