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A Sock In The Eye

by Mert Guswiler

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© 1997 - all rights reserved

Chapter I - In Which A Mert Is Introduced And We Are Given Explanations Of One Kind Or Another For The Rest Of This Book


For as long as I can remember, I've always been greatly impressed by that fellow Ulysses or Odysseus, depending on your geographical orientation and cultural preference either for Greece or Rome. (He is a kind of lodestar for me, even today, many years after this adventure I'm telling you about, and must be important to lots of people since not too long ago there was a television movie about him.) He was the one, you remember, that sort of made it his life's work to sail about the world. It made him famous or he made it famous or something. He was not deterred by doomsayers or a weaving spouse, which is to say he just did it. And this was long before he had the help of any sneakers to encourage him by telling him to "just do it." I'm not saying I'm any descendant of his, biologically anyway, but there is a bond between A Mert and a Ulysses, as you will see. We are both "trips," for one thing. Since he is famous and I am not, A Mert needs to be introduced.

There are two ways of looking at A Mert just as there are two ways of looking at most things. On the one hand, A Mert is very difficult to spot in a group of people because A Mert is a people, so to speak. On the other hand, a very watching-type person soon learns to spot A Mert quickly.

Everyone, everywhere meets up with A Mert sometime during his or her life. Some people can adjust better than others to this A Mert and these people become part of A Mert's life. It is well to note at this point, too, that the term (or whatever) "A Mert" can be either a specific one (meaning me) or a generic one (meaning I know there are others out there kind of like me or others who I'm kind of like). A person can be A Mert and not be aware of it, although others around are quite convinced of the fact. An unknowing A Mert usually does not remain that way - unknowing that is; others make certain A Mert, and we're talking specifics here (meaning me), becomes enlightened.

This book, too, finally answers those people who keep asking me, even today, what was I "doing all those years over there?"

This book has it all as far as being "about" something. It even represents a sort of victory, and in that regard, may be the only subtle enterprise ever connected with A Mert. In that regard, too, it could have been dedicated to Henry Fielding over whom A Mert has finally triumphed. You see, some time back there was this movie called "Tom Jones" that sort of evolved from a huge novel of the same name by this Henry Fielding. A Mert liked the movie a lot even though it sent her on a guilt trip. You see, the novel had been required college reading, a feat accomplished by A Mert and friends by reading only the very, very long chapter titles. A Mert always felt she had dishonestly earned her college degree by not actually reading the novel part of the novel and the movie only reminded her of that fact. Immediately after seeing the movie, A Mert began to slog through the novel, finally regaining her honor when she finished the whole book.

"I have at last honestly and truly graduated," she told a friend as she closed the book. "Someday, somehow I've got to find a way to immortalize this struggle and this writer who's caused it."

That day has finally come with the very, very long chapter titles in this book. You see, the chapter titles for this adventure are a kind of immortality, although a sort of different kind to be sure. But as has already been said, A Mert does things differently even to the bestowing of immortality.

I know because I am A Mert.

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