This may be a story. Or it may not. One really can’t know when he’s in the middle of living it. I’m rather inclined to think it is one, albeit infinitesimally small, hidden away in some nook of history. But I said small. That does not necessarily mean insignificant. How does the story end? When I said it may not be a story, I meant, of course, that in the conventional way of telling tales, I take my leave. Yet if one has lived even an instant, he has a story to tell, even if no one else but his Maker knows of it. One day, I think, we will know of each worthy life that has been but which has never heard its own story told within the Great Tale in these shadow-times. Furthermore, have I even stepped through the right door, or is this not where I should be?
Wait a moment. I hadn’t needed the celebration or the sign upon the door – the letter of affirmation is in my knapsack – why forget to look at it half the time? So, after all, I’m at the right place. One is always at the right place when he keeps travelling ahead in the right direction.
My journey. Ah, a journey such it is. The courses have changed – at least, wouldn’t one hope they have? A very sad thing it would be if one decided to travel a better path and did not choose that way while he had the chance.
Someone is calling my name. Forgive me. This is a tale about Somebody who happens to not be the present writer – but he is, indeed the Author. That is, the Author is by no means, at any point, the narrator. At some point in the blessed Anno Domini years, he decided I would serve a useful function somewhere between a court jester and a bookworm. The Author has journeyed with the narrator – even when the narrator foolishly refused to acknowledge so.
So here I am, Dmitri Arentello Visaraci Ordeaux Scolét, and from hereon out, the narrator would be pleased to reduce that name (that, unfortunately, runs longer than the humans’ Plato’s Republic and which provides about that level of entertainment) to the name most must needs call a librarian who only comes out of his secluded hideout once every half-month – Dimi. Why my kin chose to throw together a ridiculous jumble of human-Italian-French-I-don’t-know-what names I can’t exactly fathom, though I’ve narrowed the reason for such animosity down to three options:
- I was bully enough of a child to generally drive people either towards disdain or insanity.
- An honored progenitor somehow related to my great-aunt twice-removed was feeling ill at my dedication ceremony.
- I am incredibly ugly.
As I never once heard a grandiose story narrating any delirious relation’s influence on my elders’ naming choices, one could very likely assume the second option to be crossed out. As to the third possibility, I’m not quite certain anyone short of the devil himself could be unattractive enough to warrant such a ridiculing naming scheme, so that notion is out of the picture. Thus, I am left with a fairly sorry cause for my cumbersome title. I’ve often wondered what sort of agony I afforded my poor mother during childbirth, for she must have vented her irritation on whatever snow-ball of half-intelligible thoughts popped into her head, and aha, I had a name. About the only thing I know is that half of those I meet cannot remember it, and the other half gawk in their astute misunderstanding of whatever language I had fluently spoken. At least I cannot honestly say that my elders were the droll sort.
Some Gruagachs (at least, that’s the preferred title of our little lithe, merry folk – the humans want to call us sprites, and some grow irritable at the name after awhile) – but as I was saying, some Gruagachs have wished to confer on me the title of “lore-singer.” A laugh those storytellers would have; I couldn’t carry a tune from a mule, much less sing an entire volume of poetry. But that is not my task, at any rate. I’m a collector of lore-songs, a bookkeeper, a poet in his own right (but if he must compose, the narrator favors diddies, for his attention cannot keep on one matter at a time for any length of time, unfortunately – needless to say, many wonder, including myself, how I’ve acquired the task of hermit-librarian at all). Ah, and diddies – the humans want to compare them to – what’s it? A haiku? If brevity constitutes similarity, then according to Gruagachs’ all-around five-foot stature, I am comparable to a squash. But I diverge. Diddies have something to say, and they say it loudly, but merrily. If one cannot choose mirth amidst sorrow, right among wrong, thoughtfulness among amusement, kindness amidst evil, service amidst selfishness, even when – especially when – all the best of the good things are perhaps the hardest and most unpopular, then he deserves no respect. But I have learned you can find much to say if you only learn how you must say it, not merely to win an argument, but to gain well-founded respect in the eyes of opponents and spectators alike. But if I am not respected, I hope it will not be because others found my character lacking.
Ah! It’s drawing late. The candle is burning low whilst an old man rambles his way through a rag-tag prologue. But this serves as a very incomplete and all-together wholly proper introduction to a yet-unfinished tale.