How did I, Fitzgerald, a gentleman of esteem in the Hollywood community, find myself in a dank, dreary four by five jail cell? To my right sits a pimp named Sampson, his greasy lice-ridden hair dripping on my inherited Brooks Brothers sport coat. On the other side is Diego, a foul-smelling homeless man, spewing forth air-borne viruses with every alcoholic breath. Fitzgerald’s cramped bowels, taunted by the pristine ceramic of a corner commode, scream to release their contents. Despite the extreme discomfort, I hesitate to reveal my pure, baptized hide to these derelicts.
Across from me on the wall is a cracked mirror. I'm about 33 years old, and I look rather striking: boyish-skin, angular Irish nose, ocean blue eyes, carefully arranged freckles, sensuously furrowed brow, pink pouty lips and a glowing tinge of suburban Midwest innocence seeping through my pores. Fitzgerald’s lean physique is the end result of oral discipline – a diet which revolves around the daily consumption of nutritious Swanson “Boneless Pork Rib" TV dinners. The bouncing right leg is the result of the cycle of Starbucks and Boodles gin, liquid companions pedaling daily through my bloodstream.
The glistening exterior of a scurrying cockroach catches my well-trained conjurer’s eye. The insect pauses at my feet, its delicate antennae inquisitively stroke my black velvet slippers – a tiny Magdalene at the feet of her Master. The arthropod’s puny mind is no doubt puzzled as to a major American writer’s presence in this tub of degradation.
“Jay-walking” is not a crime; nor was telling the arresting officer that he resembled Ichabod Crane. The city of Toluca Lake should feel blessed that a noted author and figure of authority should occasionally stroll its crime-ridden streets during the day and night. Walking liberates my consciousness and permits the free flow of thoughts; many of my most brilliant ideas originate with brisk high-speed jaunts through the neighborhood. Why should I halt my footsteps (when a profound thought is ricocheting through my synapses) at something so trivial as a stoplight? Yes, numerous multi-car traffic accidents have occurred because of my sauntering through busy intersections. This is a small price for society to pay when they consider the impact my reflections will have on future generations.
Fitzgerald, a messianic scholar bedecked in a shiny blue sport coat, sharply pressed white tuxedo slacks and a bright yellow hand-painted silk tie, sees himself as a role model in this community. And yet here I sit in this god-forsaken den between two dregs of humanity! How will the municipal authorities ever right the wrongs done unto me? There's no doubt that my legal team (three keen, top-drawer graduates of the Paralegal Institute) is feverishly typing up the papers to secure my release. However, I am resolved to write for forty days and nights ... and push on I must ... for the soul of mankind is at stake.
As of this printing, I do not know what has become of Fitzgerald. He was last seen several weeks ago at the intersection of Flower and Normandie in Inglewood, California performing three card monte for a few appreciative members of the Crips. (He viewed his performances as charitable acts of social service.) The police were alerted about his disappearance; however, for whatever reason, LAPD detectives have not been aggressively investigating. I sincerely hope that the author has not run into trouble, but has merely taken a sabbatical of solitude to recharge his soul. (Legal note for the record: pursuant to our contractual agreement, upon the demise of the author, as editor I shall receive 80% of the net profits from the sale of this work and its related products; the remaining 20%, at Mr. Fitzgerald’s request, shall go to the “Home for Abused & Neglected Amphibians” in Kissimmee, Florida.)
Fitzgerald used as a deadline the Lenten season (the eight weeks prior to Easter in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar) to attempt to complete this manuscript. (The author believes that it’s important to set deadlines in order to accomplish significant goals.) His initial goal was to write for forty days and nights and to complete forty essays; however, only thirty essays were accomplished due to incarceration, jury duty and irritable bowel syndrome. While composing this manuscript, a strict regimen of fasting and mortification was followed. (Mortification refers to the deadening of the senses for “higher purposes”: daily wearing of his patented burlap undergarments, dining on TV dinners and sleeping on cold, wood floors.) This discipline enabled the author to focus as he attempted to complete the manuscript.
Fitzgerald writes in defense of the individual. The single person, in particular, faces persecutions from all areas (notably from family, government and the corporate world). Fitzgerald’s words appear to be directed at the bachelor; however, much of his wisdom will be applicable to both sexes. (He is sorry if the female persuasion is offended in any way by his observations and tales, true and bold as they may be.) The author is primarily concerned that the individual becomes all that he/she was meant to be ... that everyone becomes an entity unto himself/herself before sacrificing his/her ambitions at the altar of societal conformity.
Hopefully, the author’s pen will supply the necessary courage for unique and original souls to forge ahead through the new millennium -- and beyond.
P.S.: I took the creative license to include excerpts from his unfinished autobiographical novel, The Fitzgerald Files. The crisply constructed literary snapshots may add an extra dimension and salability to the author’s often long-winded, pedantic essays. However, Fitzgerald does have a few grains of wisdom to share. The best approach in reading Bachelor 2000 is to open it up to a random page, study the contents of the essay, close the book and then do something else. Return to the book the next day.
Also, Fitzgerald frequently shifts tenses in the same paragraph, substituting “Fitzgerald” for “me” or “I”. Do not be confused -- this is the author’s own tremendous ego getting in the way. He often speaks like this, to the bewilderment of his listeners.