*The following was transcribed from a pile of yellowed notes purportedly found at the desk of Paul Tremblay; the identity of the transcriber is sexy unknown*
August 17th, 2010
Sorry that I’ve been gone for a week or so, but oh diary, what a week it was!
On the 10th I was notified that my first novel the greatest book evah! was to be—gasp!—remaindered. The indignities of black dotted remainder marks and listing at bookcloseout.com were too much for me to face. I’m embarrassed to admit that I fell apart, into a million little James Frey what a tool pieces, even. First, I hit the bottle. After smacking the bottle around good, I took a break and listened to Lady Gaga while reading the collected works of Mona Bangs and other .99 cent ebooks that had received starred reviews. Then, after untold hours of that madness, I huffed cans of Bactine and blacked out, and woke up on a fishing vessel; its name: D’ass Boat. The crew informed me that I had joined them in New Bedford after winning a Gaga karaoke contest. Lucky me. The crew also called me, “Sardine” because of how I looked with my shirt off for reasons that were unclear to me. We were to be at sea for six months! I took all of this news about as well as I took the remaindering news. So I called my agent somehow, but he ignored my call. Then I started smacking around bottles again. The crew took umbrage at my serial bottle abuse, and some of the men were threatening me with science violence! The Sardine was crying in the corner prepared to give ’em hell, when the knuckle-cracking crew’s inexorable advance was stopped by the one they called “The Stranger” (the crew was lousy with nicknames). The Stranger bravely shielded me with his body. He wore a raincoat with a hood pulled up over his face. When the crew stopped, he laughed and revealed we all already knew it was Laird Laird! My dear friend! I don’t know how to explain how or why he was magically on a boat in the Atlantic instead of in Washington State all right? how he managed to stay under that rubber hood for so long! It must’ve made his face dreadfully hot and sweaty. Laird shouted, “Come on, Sardine Paul,” and led me out of the galley and onto the deck. We counted to five, held our noses, and jumped overboard, much like Goldie Hawn in Overboard. The next thing I knew, Laird was dragging my limp manly body onto the beach of some remote island. Only the island wasn’t very remote. It was hell on earth! People everywhere wearing boat shoes, designer sunglasses, and listening to James Taylor and Jimmy Buffet. Laird and I, of course, could not abide, could not stay. We tore a plank of wood off of James Taylor’s fence, and Laird fashioned a floating sled with the wood and his Technicolor raincoat. Laird cupped his hands around his mighty maw, issuing forth a barbaric yawp, and called his animal friends; dolphins, assorted gulls and albatrosses, and crabs. The crabs were too pinchy no help and were summarily eaten dismissed. Laird hooked the floating sled to the dolphins and birds, and we were off, traipsing across the rollicking sea. To earn my keep on the aqua-sled trip, Laird threatened insisted that I feed his loyal dolphins and birds. The worst was feeding the birds as I had to eat a bunch of fish heads and then regurgitate it all up for those winged freaks. Eventually, we made it to mainland Massachusetts. Over a Del’s lemonade slush, Laird and I discussed my perfectly reasonable reaction to the remaindering. He listened and then said, simply if not cryptically, “Paul, more is more.” Then he rode his dolphin/bird sled back across America, and none were more the wiser about either of our prior whereabouts because we didn’t include this thrilling yarn in any facebook status updates. Well, Laird did post something about a sardine regurgitating fish heads but you all thought he was being writerly and poetic. Regardless, I am and in all ways forever grateful to Laird, and the lesson I learned is that I will never again go to Nantucket.
(Further adventures concerning Laird Barron are being collected and posted at John Langan’s livejournal. Or will be when he gets off his duff: http://jplangan.livejournal.com/)