Monday, April 16, 2007

Chapter Ten: Big

This is going to be big, Todd thought. In fact, he further thought, this is going to be bigger than big. Clearly, Todd was very excited.

There was a large group at the Lit Snob tonight, all waiting, Todd was sure, with baited breath. He took a deep, deep inhale and stood before the crowd.

"It is my joy to announce tonight's reader - me!" Todd glowed. The crowd looked confused.

When they had read "Famous surprise guest reader" on the sign outside the Lit Snob they had assumed it was going to be a local fame. You know, James Tate or someone like that. They tried not to look too disappointed out of the modicum of politeness that they still maintained. Mrs. Darson's knitting needles clicked in a slightly aggravated manner. The MFA students collectively pushed their heavy black glasses to a better resting position on their noses.

Ms. Henderson, the janitor, stood in the back corner as she always did. She uncrossed and then recrossed her arms crossly. Earlier that week she had asked Todd if perhaps she could be the reader this week.

"You know Todd," she had said, "I have some stuff that I've written and I was wondering if maybe, you know, I could read it next week."

The mop in the bucket pendulumed from left to right in front of Todd's face.

"Well, um, sorry, no," he had stated briskly with no explanation. Not even allowing Ms. Henderson to tell him that the work she wanted to read had been published in Atlantic Monthly earlier that week.

And now here Todd, that dolt!, was reading his own work. This had better be good, thought Ms. Henderson, crossing her arms again as Todd began to speak.

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