Me: (just waking up) Man, I had a bad dream.
Cosimo: What about?
Me: (remembering) Actually, um. This may be the stupidest dream I've ever had. But it felt really upsetting!
Cosimo: What happened?
Me: I was at the supermarket trying to buy a frozen pizza. But they didn't have your basic pepperoni. The closest I could find was this weird double-sided pizza--like, two pizzas, almost back-to-back? But with a space in between so you could hook them over the oven rack: one on top, one underneath upside-down.
Anyway, it was a stupid pizza, but I took it and went to a register. But the cashier wouldn't check me out--he said something about how the weird box for the weird pizza didn't work with his scanner, and he didn't want to hold up the whole line, so he checked out all these other people instead. Then he just left. (plaintively) All I wanted was my pizza!
Cosimo: It's a book dream.
Me: You think so?
Cosimo: It's about your second reader.
Me: Huh. Maybe. He's the cashier? Like, a gatekeeper?
Me: But in this analogy, my book is a weird pizza. You're saying my book is a weird pizza?
Cosimo: No, your book introduction is a weird pizza. Everyone's introduction is, right? You just want to do this straightforward thing, but you have to add all this other stuff you're not invested in, to appease the people who want your book to be something it's not--
Me: (not really listening) Poor weird-pizza book! No one wants to buy you! (confidentially) I'm sorry I said you were weird, weird pizza. If you exist and I see you in the store, I'm totally buying you.
*Latest in an occasional series.