The Perfect Visitor
Chapters : Foreword | 1 | 2 | 3-7 Available On
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Foreword by Lubrican
This book, statistically, is the 200th story or book I have written and
posted for the world to see. That being a milestone of sorts,
I wrote this one to be number 200, for a specific reason.
Along in 2007, after I had been writing and posting for a couple of
years, I got some feedback from a female reader. I always
perk up a little bit when the feedback is from an alleged
female. I'm a guy, and guys like it when women pay attention
to them. She basically told me that "The Last Wish Blues" was
the first story she'd read, in which a teenaged girl got pregnant, that
she felt anywhere near good about. She also said she'd gotten
pregnant as a teenager, and it hadn't been a happy thing.
We exchanged a few emails, and then a few more, until we evolved into
chatting on line. She was intelligent, funny, and critical of
my writing in helpful ways. She made it quite clear that
there were only a limited number of my stories that she liked, and that some of them she had never read because the teaser and codes convinced her she would not be interested in them. We got to know each other better, and I found out she was a web developer. She had read stories at my website, which I had painstakingly created from
self-taught mistakes and corrections. I was proud of
it. It was colorful, easy to read, and easy to
navigate. She thought it was garish, clumsy and
amateur in appearance.
Some men would have (and probably do) labled her picky and
opinionated. Call me a closet masochist, but I was
smitten. It isn't often I talk to a human being who is
blatantly truthful about what she thinks ... and still likes me.
She said she couldn't stand my website, and offered to come up with
something simple and elegant to take its place. I wanted to
resist, but couldn't, because she already had me wrapped around her
little finger. It was good I didn't. The site she
built for me is far superior. I couldn't pay her for her
work, though, so I wrote her a story instead. It was a story
about one of my fantasies about her. She was in the
neighborhood of 25 at the time, which would have put me in my very late
fifties. Most women would have laughed, called me a dreamer
and quite possibly a pervert, and never written to me again.
She was kinder than that.
In fact, she offered to edit the story I'd written for her, since it
was chock full of errors, distractions and mistakes.
So I let her do that, even though I didn't want to work with an
editor. These little things were my inventions, and editors,
in my experience, tried to change too much.
But I was impressed with the results. Everything she changed
needed to be changed. Everything she corrected needed to be
corrected. The distractions were gone, and now the story read
smoothly. It was sweet. She was sweet. I
started calling her Peaches. She started calling me Gramps.
I am not a stupid man. I recognized a good thing when I saw
it, and I'm not talking about the flirting we did. So I asked
her to edit the next story ... and the one after that, and the one
after that, which included some long stories. And since I
still couldn't pay her anything, I wrote her another story, and then a
few more after that, including one that was HER fantasy and which,
regrettably, did not include me. But that was okay.
At one point, though, she began getting more work, which meant she had
less time to edit for me, and I was writing things that didn't interest
her anyway, so I gave her a break.
All this is so the reader will understand that, over the last three
years, this woman has had a tremendous impact on my writing and my
life. I know that my fantasies about her will never come
true. I still wish we lived next door to each other, though,
because she has become one of my best friends, and I love her like
So I wrote story number 200 to be about her. And
me. It is as close to being autobiographical as I've ever
written, in terms of what she and I are really like, in real
life. The fantasy overlays that, but the curmudgeon you will
be introduced to is pretty much me, and the quirky, off beat woman you
will meet is pretty much like her. There are a few
differences, of course. The plot required that both of us do
things we wouldn't normally do. But if you ever wished you
could sit and drink a beer with either of us, this will be pretty close
to what that could be like.
So this one is for Peaches. She has been special in my
life. I hope I get to know her for a long, long
time. I always assumed I'd smoke and drink myself to death by
the time I was sixty-five, and that was fine with me, back then.
But the chance to hang out with Peaches has changed all that. I'm willing to push it to seventy-five now, and do what it takes to get there.
That is how special she is to me.
PS: She edited this story, and it being a special story and all, I asked her to write a foreword too. She resisted, but caved, eventually. That's the next thing you'll read.
Foreword by Peaches
For some reason, Gramps thought it would be a good idea to ask me to
write a foreword for this little tale as well. A possible sign that
he's lost his mind once and for all. It's safe to say that it's been
addled by old age, at the least.
He is almost entirely full of shit (you didn't notice?) and seemingly
incapable of actually remembering the real story of how our relationship
began and progressed, beyond that one remark I made about The Last Wish
Blues. The story is different every time he tells it. But I tend to
enjoy his versions of events, even when they're vastly inaccurate, so I
choose not to correct him now. I already feel like I'm under enough
pressure--because this is my first time actually 'talking' to most of
you--without trying to relate to you how exactly it is that I became
this muleheaded man's editor.
I asked him what I should write for this thing, and the only advice he
had to offer was "Just write about me." That's super helpful, Gramps.
And because he wasn't specific, I take that to mean I can just type out
whatever pops into my head.
I can hear him in my headphones right now, and he just made a remark
about me being a dirty girl (after I said I needed to wash my face,
which I swear I don't do nearly as often as he makes out in this
story). Can you believe how this guy talks to me? The
nerve. And he's breathing heavily.
My favorite thing about when Gramps starts telling stories about me is
when he references his old website. He just makes it sound like I
stomped all over his delicate little feelings when I offered to build
him a new one. I like to think I was a little more subtle about it, but
I know me, and I do tend to be pretty blunt (tactless) about many
things. But seriously, did you see what it used to look like?
Every single page had a different
tiled background image behind the text, and one or the other was
usually neon-colored. Like this:
It's probably best not to reopen that wound by saying what I thought of
it again. He's very sensitive, you know.
And now he's telling me that I should try to work in something about
why this story is special to me. That's easy. It's special because it's
ABOUT ME. And all of my favorite
stories of his are the ones about me. Shocking, isn't it? This one was
actually my idea as well, which naturally makes it about a million
times better. He does his best work when he's doing it with me. Wink
wink, nudge nudge.
I really don't know where to go with this. As I already told him, it's
not my job to do the writing, it's my job to do the editing. And I
promise I will be back in the swing of that in 2011. Unless he
continues to write crap that he knows I don't want to read, where icky
things are happening, like older women banging younger men. I just
can't be doing with that nonsense. I'm strictly a fan of dirty old
men. And word is, they LOVE me.
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