This is the Title of the Story Which is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself

By David Moser

This story is pretty heady so if you get lost easily, here’s a link to the text so you can read along.

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Phil & Rosco Glance Into History

Phil and Rosco sit in a living room.  Phil is reading a newspaper, while Rosco is setting up the board game Mousetrap.

PHIL: Hmmm, well what do you know?  Apparently, George Washington borrowed two books from a New York Library and never returned them.

ROSCO:  Really?

PHIL:  Yeah.  In 1789, which is the year he became president, he borrowed “Law of Nations,” a dissertation on international relations, and a volume of debate transcripts from Britain’s House of Commons, and never returned them.

ROSCO:  Wow.

PHIL:  He didn’t even sign his name.  Just put down “President”.

Silence.

PHIL:  I don’t know how to feel about this.

ROSCO:  Well if the sonofabitch became the first president of America that year, he probably thought he could do whatever the fuck he wanted.  Still, he was so honorable or whatever, that all he could manage to do was not return some free books.

PHIL:  I wonder if he felt guilty afterwards.

ROSCO:  (in a low gruff voice) You know what, Martha? I ain’t fuckin returning these.  (in a high-pitched voice) I don’t know George – (in a low gruff voice) No, fuck it. I’m the President; the library can suck my dick.

PHIL:  I think his behavior set the bar pretty low for those to follow.

ROSCO:  I think this has been a big fucking government secret.  Someone definitely lost their job and/or life over letting this little factoid slip out to the public.

PHIL: (chuckling) National Treasure 3: The Lost Tomes of GW

ROSCO:  And the BIGGER secret is that presidents have been taking books ever since then, and that is how the Library of Congress really started.

Pause.  Phil slowly puts down his paper, wide-eyed.

PHIL: (softly)  Oh shit . . .that makes intuitive sense.

ROSCO: We’re through the looking glass, Phil.  We need to watch our backs.

They each tentatively look around the room, waiting to see if something happens.  When nothing does, they go back to what they were doing.  Pause.

ROSCO:  I bet all they were looking for was porn.

PHIL: For sure.

“I’m president; the library can suck my dick.”

The Commandments of All-Day Reading

1.  Hunker Thyself in Thy Dwelling

Let no friend nor occasion draw you hence from thy abode, lest the power the AUTHOR condemn you.  Shift all devices and electric boxes to slumber, for they are demons and will only serve to distract.  Lock thy doors and yea, verily, let the Holy Spirit of Imagination flow into your heart.

2. Be Not Still in Thy Dwelling

Though the door be shut and the window be barred, let not your body go limp in a single place for thy shall offend the grace of the AUTHOR.  As the apostle Wordsmithington once remarked, “Move they body to many places ever and anon, from here to there, from this place to that place, and may the position of thy body never find one state.  To stay in one position is a temptation of the devil, and he shall rack your body with pains and aches and sores for sinning against the AUTHOR.”

3.  Let No Food Grace Your Touch

At no time, from the dawn of your All-Day Read to its dusk, shall you consume a meal of more than a single handful.  If you dare commit this grievance against the AUTHOR, such a fate of pages splashed with soup, smudges of grease and oil, droplets of juice and wine, shall be visited upon thee and ruin thy sacred book.  Commit not this sin and either choose a section of hour to eat thy meal, or choose the holy path and abstain from food.  Yea, but do not forget to drink water, for a soul must breath life to read the word of the AUTHOR.

4.  Give Thyself Over To The Word

Choose not to keep thyself at a distance from the character, plot and theme of the book you hold.  Nay, instead give over thy spirit and embrace the power of the AUTHOR.

5.  May the Make-Believe Guide You Towards Heaven

Let it be known that the All-Day Read is the most holiest of book endeavors, and can only be quested after stories of imagine and nod.  “No man shall read the script of history, for its characters are set and firm in the earth,” sayeth the AUTHOR.

6.  Lend Thyself To The Passage of Time

While in the act of reading and meditation, in the throes of the story, prepare thy soul to travel and skip through the minute, hour, and day.  The unprepared soul will be surprised by the passage of the day, and in a fit of rage blame the book.  This is a sin against the AUTHOR, and will only serve to drag you away from the light.

7. Rest Thyself in the Fellowship of Friends

The AUTHOR, knowing we are but mortal beings susceptible to weakness and scrutiny, has allowed one hour of the day to summon one friend and speak of such things as unrelated to the story.  This will serve thy mind a respite from the word of the AUTHOR, in His glory and light, for they are sometimes too great for we to witness.

8.  Focus On The Word

Train thy eye to witness every letter, word, and phrase written by the Author, for in doing so, you shall know the face of creation.

9.  Cleanse Thyself

The AUTHOR has decreed that, though most time must be spent on the word and plot, the reader must give pause for the washing of hands, feet and face in a basin of clear water, for the act of the All-Day Read will leave on oily and grimed, and to read as such is an affront to the AUTHOR.

10.  Prepare Thy Soul For the Absence of Grace

Once finished with the word, the reader will feel the emptiness as the spirit of the AUTHOR leaves their bodies and returns to the creative ether up in the clouds of Art.  Do not seek more of the word in other stories, for this would be a crime against the AUTHOR.  Be not afraid, nor despair, for although the word of the AUTHOR has left thee, a part of His grace remains in thy heart.  Give praise and rejoice, for the AUTHOR shall return one day and bless upon you once again the gift of the kingdom of Art.  Yea, though we walk through the valley of mediocre plot and character of single dimension, we shall not fear for the spirit of the AUTHOR is with us, and shall remain for all of time.

The End.Image