Author: Jason Arnett
Title: Reader (part 1 of 7)
Frequency: every Wednesday
It had been a long day: an interview with the local paper, two lectures, a faculty dinner, a reading and then a signing that seemed never to end. Ray Briscoe was flipping through the little moleskine notebook he always kept with him and drinking slowly. The second bourbon tasted better than the first in the nearly empty hotel bar, and SportsCenter was nearly over when the man came up to him.
“Excuse me,” the newcomer said.
“Yeah, I’m him, but not right now. Right now I’m a guy having a drink. If you’d like to have a drink and talk about anything but books or writing then you’re welcome to sit.”
Ray had sold enough books in a thirty-year career that he wasn’t worried about offending anyone. Ever since the internet had come along, he’d become even more famous for being curmudgeonish. So famous, in fact, he no longer spent time checking the wikis. He knew what they said and his wife had always told him to stop worrying what other people thought of him anyway.
“All right,” the man said and sat down. He held up a glass to the bartender and nodded, turned back to the writer. “I’m Frank.”
“Ray,” the writer said. “Nice to meet you, Frank.”
“So what do you feel like talking about, Ray?”
Ray nodded at Frank’s repeating his name, a memory tactic. “How about astronomy? What do you know about the night sky?”
“My god,” Frank said. “It’s full of stars.”