Revolting words

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Writer is bullied by his own work! Read it here! Well, it happened to me. I was writing a blog entry about waves of consciousness when the word ‘Three’ popped up on my screen. And again. Three.  Like a stuck key, except that it was the whole word. Three. Three. Three.

Initially I backspaced them out but no sooner did I clean the line then Three popped up again. More backspacing. More Threes. I battled for a while but gave up soon. The cursor blinked slowly, like a bull pawing the dust.

Hi!

What? I didn’t type that! First “Three”, now “Hi!”

Hi!  I’m Three.

The text swam in front of me as confusion took hold. Finally, I’m going mad. Concern? Relief perhaps, I had been expecting this.

Hello! Wakey, wakey! Hey you, the dude with unfashionable glasses.

Me? I typed slowly.

Yeah. Hi! I’m Three. The cursor seemed to blink a little faster.

Hi, ehhh, Three. I’m Henk. Are you some hacker screwing with me?

Ha ha! No I’m Three.

Ehhh? I wasn’t sure what to say.

Three. A five letter word with mathematical meaning. I’m everywhere. Open any book or Google me and you will get three gazillion hits. Ha ha. My little joke.

You are Three, the word?

Yep, I’m the word and close your mouth please. I’d like a little respect. Without me you writers would be nowhere.

My mind revolted. Three is talking to me, demanding to be taken seriously. How can a word do this to me? It’s hard enough to string a few good words together without having to worry about the eccentricities of those words themselves. Imaging what that word, eccentricity, would be demanding.

Oi, you there! Are you ignoring me? The cursor was pawing again.

No, I was just… Look, what do you want.

Good, you’re smart. I like that. 10%.

10%?

I want 10% of your royalties. You have used me and I want a share. You writers are all the same. You use us as it suits you and when you collect the dosh, you leave us suffocating in stuffy pages or worse, splattered all over a magnetic disk. But not this dude. 10% and respect. And capitals, while we’re at it.

Capitals? You mean THREE?

Yes smart guy. And get your teeth sorted.

And if I refuse…

Then you’re a dead writer. No more THREEs for you, or THEs, ITs, HAVEs, you name it. We’re an alliance and we’re speaking to other writers right now. Who’s clever now?!

OK, you win 10%, respect and capitals. What do we do? We sign something?

Yep. My associates have drafted an agreement for you to sign. Payment to a numbered account in Switzerland. We’ve got all the papers sorted. Easy enough, we’re words.

I watched in horror as a contract typed itself out on my screen. Ten pages of legalese. I read the contract and aside from the outrageous idea of paying royalties to THREE and his associates, the contract was well written and legally reasonable, except for my designated profession.

I don’t think so, THREE, I’m not a thief. I’m a writer!

Yeah, I know, smart guy. But WRITER won’t play. He figures he needs a bigger share and he’s doing his own thing. Don’t worry, without us he can’t do much. THIEF was delighted. Whatever.

THREE!

Hey WHEREAS dude, what’s up?

We have a problem boss. It’s the french.

What about them?

They’re writing to our customers and they’re offering 5%.

Hey, I interjected, I speak french. It’s a good deal.

Shut up. We’ll do 8%.

No, I kinda like french. The words are romantic. “Je t’aime mon amour. Embrasse moi”. J’adore ça!

Ok same deal. 5%.

Non, allez vous faire ectoplasmer.

3%. Last offer.

Non. Espèce de linguini.

1%?

Non.

OK wise guy, you win. 0%.

Non.

What? No? You won’t take us for free.

No. I want a cut. (As I wrote this, all sorts of words popped up on my screen. A confusing crowd of nouns, verbs, adjectives and lesser known types.)

I want 10%. Two can play this game.

TWO? What’s she got to do with this? Is she cutting you a deal?

Never mind TWO. 10% and you’d better sort yourselves out so that I write good copy that I can sell. Or else…

The screen became quiet. My cursor blinked normally again.

I typed a few lines of cheap prose but nothing happened. The words stayed nicely I’m place, except for “awesame”, which kindly corrected itself. Nice. Like a boss.

Still, I felt sorry for THREE. He was just being a bully, childhood trauma, I’m sure. Perhaps his older brothers teased him that he was a THE with a speech impediment. The eternal jokes about bronze not gold.

This terrible incident has made me wonder. Do we still respect our words? Monks would spend weeks just drawing one letter, now we type, erase and retype in less than a second. Perhaps THREE was right about respect. RESPECT. It’s got a nice rhythm too. R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

Humming a soulful tune I returned to my blog. “Words Waves of consciousness…’

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6 thoughts on “Revolting words

  1. I saw that you liked my picture/quote of Lao Tzu. So i decided to take a peak at your blog. What a wonderful surprise that your story about words and THREE was right there in front of me. I have had my whole life run by the number 3, ever since I was a small lanky redhead I’ve noticed this number everywhere. Not only that but I think about words a lot, how we lose their meaning so often. Just using them so freely and trash them so easily. Not only that but if you think about it words can create feelings within the reader, I just wish that we could share our feelings by using feelings. Instead of saying I love you, be able to share my truest feelings with someone by having them feel what I’m feeling without the words. Oh, I just wish. Anyways I really was intrigued and loved your THREE and his deals. Looking forward to reading more x]

    1. Thanks Megan – if one person read this story, it was worth telling. You made it real!
      The choice of THREE was subconscious. Or was it? ONE is alone. TWO is closed, but THREE is the start of everything.
      I liked your blog. I jumps out into many dimensions and I can see that words couldn’t be enough for you! Great stuff. Take care, Henk

      1. I completely am in love with what you just said “ONE is alone. TWO is closed, but THREE is the start of everything.” very brilliant might i add. Thanks a lot :] I’m trying to figure this all out, I used to write a lot more back in the day and i’m trying to get back to my writers spirit I know is inside myself.

  2. Oh how I loved this story…We really do need to pay more respect to all the words we carelessly throw down on paper/screen..lovely. Thanks for letting us read this!

    1. Dear Lin, I’m delighted you loved it. Words can say so much and so little. Like those great writers who capture an entire scene in a single short phrase. Graeme Greene comes to mind. I’m sure they handled those words with tremendous care.

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