Always In Threes

David Michael James finished his third cup of coffee as the third hour of writing ended. Standing, he stretched for three seconds. Then he saved his document, closed it, and turned off his computer, one, two, three. 

Everything was done in threes. Multiples of three were sometimes acceptable. David Michael James recognized his inconsistently about this, sometimes agreeing with the multiple of three rule mod. Then he’d determined, why, he’d done that three times, which drove such a spike of sheer joy through him that he’d celebrated with three glasses of wine that night instead of three different beverages, which was his norm. But then, he’d been forced to do that three nights in a row, buying three new bottles of wine to satisfy his need for libation. Life was so traumatic and complicated.

He lived in a three story, three-bedroom, three-bath home, the third house he’d owned (and he was the house’s third owner). He’d bought the first house with his first wife, ignoring all the rules of three, because Sheila convince him that it was silly, which was wrong. He’d thought about killing her (murdering her, doing away with her) because they’d argued so much (probably, he saw, because she’d eschewed doing everything in threes, even joking more than once (two times?), “Let’s do everything in fives, because we have five fingers and five toes on each hand,” foolish logic, and he’d soon pointed it out to her (“But we only have two hands and two feet.”)), but had calculated that he’d need to marry three times and if he did, he’d need to kill all three women if he killed his first wife. He wasn’t a criminal at heart (just a writer), so he chose not to do that, even though he knew that he still had a problem with the threes. If he married three times, he’d need to divorce three times. It was his sad destiny. He’d understood that if he had children, he’d need to have three, so he’d nipped that with a vasectomy as soon as possible (having his appendix and tonsils removed at the same time). No sense in taking chances.

Each of his first two marriages had lasted three years.

The roots of his governing principles in three were traced back to three events, a fact that awed him. One, a Bible school teacher had told him about the holy Trinity of the father, son, and holy ghost. That same day, someone else had told him that celebrities always died in clusters of three, and third, according to his mother (who was a junior high school English teacher), the best descriptors were always used in threes. Threes crystallized as a magic connection. The next day, he’d made three great catches, had three hits, and scored three times in a baseball game.

His affiliation to everything in threes had been blessed in threes, establishing his destiny. He acquired three degrees in college — Literature, English, and Philosophy — and then pursued a writing career, managing to write and sell three short stories to three publications in just three months.

His first novel soon followed, and then, three years later, his second. Both were best-sellers. This one, that he’d worked on today, was in the final stages of polishing, and then he’d send it off.

That left him at a crossroads. This was already his third occupation (he’d worked in three restaurants as a server in his teens, and a sales clerk at three different furniture stores, including the family business, where he’d worked for three straight years). After writing three novels, he couldn’t be a novelist any longer (could he?), which meant he’d need to find a new occupation.

His cell phone rang. (He had three, for business, personal, and just because.) After letting it ring three times, he answered, “Hello, hello, hello.”

“Hello, hello, hello to you, too,” his agent said. David Michael James had had the same agent for six years, although he’d terminated their agreement twice. This was another dangerous intersection that he needed to navigate. David Michael James was still rasslin’ (wrestling, struggling) with that dilemma (problem, challenge) and potential solutions (resolutions, fixes).

“Great news, great news, great news,” his agent, Mary Beth Johnson, said. It was to her credit that she had three names, but she’d explained to him that she was born in the south, and three names were expected. She also had two sisters, Jo and Barbara (Bobbi) who shared the same middle name, Beth. Mary Beth Johnson was also on her third marriage. She had a lot going for her.

“Tell me, tell me, tell me,” David Michael James said.

“One, I got a call from a producer. Two, they want to make a movie out of your first book. Three, they want to know if you want to write the screen play.”

David Michael James was delighted. Just like that, Mary Beth Johnson had earned three more years as his agent. “That sounds fantastic, wonderful, great,” he said.

Mary Beth Johnson had more details, but, “One, I’d like to meet you for lunch, two, so I can give you the details in person, and three, you can hand over your latest manuscript.”

After three questions (and answers), David Michael James agreed that they’d meet next Friday, which was the third Friday of the month, at three P.M., at the third restaurant suggested.

After ending the call (which had lasted three minutes), David Michael James jumped up and down in joy three times, and then hummed three bars. Things always worked well in threes.

Then it hit him (struck him, came to him). He could use another name (pen name, nom de plume) to continue his career as a novelist, which would effectively start a second career (even though it remained his third occupation). Perfect, perfect, perfect!!!

With that, he brushed his teeth for three minutes and changed into his third set of clothes of the day.

Time to go look for wife number three.

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