joed1989

A Musing Comeback, Take 2

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

So it’s been almost a year since the last time I claimed to be making a comeback to my little blog here. I know you’ve been waiting.

Today, I was on Facebook – not doing much of anything, as usual – and I came across a post someone had shared: “11 Ways to be Unremarkably Average.” Now, I’ve never considered myself average, for various reasons, but I just felt like I was being reminded that I’m painfully 20-something, with a college diploma, working in retail. One of these 11 ways was to think about writing a book, but never actually doing it. I feel like that applies to anything, really: if you think before you speak, but never speak, all you’re doing is wasting time.

So I was thinking to myself “Hey, I’ve got a journalism degree. I might be half as good at writing as I pretend I am; why not whip something up?” The result is a short short short story, maybe the beginning of something else, maybe nothing more than a way to take up time on a boring day off.

Before I get to the story I wrote, here’s one about my real life to put things in perspective. My “freshman experience” class in college was all about the Twilight Zone, relating to story telling and blah blah blah. The final project in this class (admittedly, one of only a handful of things we did all semester) was to come up with a concept for an episode of the Twilight Zone. My story involved a woman in present day Chicago having horrible dreams about running around an empty world, alone, then finally meeting another man who helps her determine they are the last on earth destined to be the Adam and Eve of this new world, repopulating it to former glory. The ultimate twist: Her life in Chicago is the dream and her “dreams” are her real life.

I loved my idea and that the project made me exercise my creativity in a fun way. I feel like what I’ve written today could have been an alternative idea for that assignment. I had fun writing it, maybe I’ll expand upon it later, but without further ado, here it is.

“The Reception” by Joe Dillon.

“You are cordially invited,” I read, “to the Reception. This Saturday, the 16th of November. 6 p.m. Sharp.”

I must have seemed silly standing alone in my apartment, pajama-clad and unshaven, reading aloud the elegantly adorned piece of pastel paper. They call the color Ghost Orchid. By law, only government papers could be printed on that shade of purple, so I guess the name was fitting.

It had arrived in its matching envelope while I was still asleep. I didn’t even think about what day it was when I rolled out of bed, but I was reminded the instant I saw it – “The Invitations” were the only mail delivered on Tuesdays.

I skimmed the rest of the letter, which was mostly background information about “The Reception” and what to expect upon arrival. The last paragraph included some B.S. about what an honor it was to be selected, although everyone’s told from childhood that “all members of society will eventually receive this incredible honor,” as my mother phrased it. Her Invitation came three years ago – on my birthday, actually, which is why I remember it so distinctly.

I didn’t bother to read the fine print at the bottom. It’s common knowledge what it says under the Eligibility of Candidates heading – a rambling paragraph about annual income and overall service to the community, things like that. I didn’t quite think my life at this point had the makings of “The Chosen,” but here was my letter nonetheless.

“The Reception,” I thought. “What a name.” I would have liked to meet the person that decided it sounded exciting to be “cordially invited”; I suppose this name did have more of a ring to it than the original – “Systematic Population Control.”

Over the years since it started, people stopped trying to fight it and “The Reception” has become as necessary a part of life as being born.”

 

P.S. You know that phenomenon where you think you’ve come up with a completely new thing, but it turns out you read/heard about it somewhere else and your brain forgets that? I’m always afraid I’m a victim of that whenever I do something new…I hope that’s not the case here.

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