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  • "Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome onto the stage a very special guest, Mr. Henry David Thoreau. Having lived in a shack for months, he has wisdom to share with you all..."

    A man walks on stage who is clearly not Henry David Thoreau. With a broken top intentionally broken by his ex-wife, he lumbers up to the microphone and clearly looks displeased. His set starts with a rant on the horrors of amplified voice.

    "Why do I need this blasted metal tube when I can simply shout above the howling waves of any lake, the thrashing of any tree branch on the rooftop, louder than Zeus himself?

    He subsequently makes a show of knocking the mic over with a poorly aimed kick.

    "Listen to me, for I have visited the lake and learned the true art of what it means to live in this world. You've read my book, yes?"

    It must have rained a lot at Walden lately. Perhaps you should have gone to the comedy club tonight. Who doesn't spend their Friday night listening to lectures, though?

    "The art of story telling is something one can not learn. You must structure it. You must tell the reader everything that they want to know, when they want to know it, and only hold back from doing such when you have something better to offer them that the already know is coming. Long form is the only form.

    The man is a hack. Perhaps by now you have realized that this is a dream, and that there is no one running around pretending to be Henry David Thoreau. Seizing the non-moment, you fly on stage (for this is a dream, after all), and take hold of the lecture.

    "Let no one tell you what a story is or is not. You are the writer, you are the one with the pen, and you are the one that the story maters to. Would you be writing at all if it were not important to you? Your days are filled with pen strokes, a melody that plays in your head, yearning to narrate just one day of the world."

    Claps rise out of the audience. Somehow, you know that a cowbird just got his wings. Jonathan will be inviting you to coffee tomorrow to celebrate your defeat of the former Henry David Thoreau.

    The curtain falls over the stage as you awake. A soft glow illuminates the room, pouring out of your phone like a ocean wave overfilling an old dam.

    Someone loved your story.
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