I came home from the place that sells those healthy fruit bowls with granola and yogurt. Lately, I’ve been trying to watch what I eat. I enter my room. My imaginary friends are eating cheeseburgers. John sits on the bed, while Galuri uses my favorite chair; that guy is always trying to be like me.
“You guys shouldn’t eat that,” I say. “I’m gonna have to go to the gym and lose those extra pounds.”
“Does this remind you of anything?” Galuri says while holding a cheeseburger up as if it were something to be proud of.
“What?” I ask, feigning ignorance.
“It reminds me that I have to go puke as soon as you guys finish.”
John grimaced. “Gross.”
Galuri insists. “No. Think about it. What does the Cheeseburger remind you of?”
I had a light bulb moment. “Oh. I see. I guess it’s time for some shameless self-promotion.”
I sit next to Galuri and resist the urge to ask him to move out of my chair. John offers me a cheeseburger. I say no because I’m on a diet.
John shrugs. “More for me.”
I address Galuri, telling him that it is time for him to be shameless and talk about his story. Unsurprisingly, he is ready and willing. The only problem is that he wants to steal my opening line.
“Well, hello, hello amigos y amigas…”
I lift an accusatory finger and start shaking it back and forth. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. Nope, that’s my phrase. You’re going to have to come up with yours.”
Galuri sighs. “Oh well… Welcome to GLTV, the only program where the host is a real son of a bitch who doesn’t let me steal his phrases.”
I let it go.
Galuri continues. “Let’s talk about my latest book, Muses & Cheeseburgers, the sequel to My First Transgressions, a fictionalized account of my life in the USA. The story takes place in 2008, a time in American history where you only had to worry about the economy, and people throwing shoes at President Bush.
I don’t have to tell you what’s going on in 2020, right?”
“Back in those days, I was so young and handsome, my ego was bigger than my feet, and I thought I could fly. I set on stone my future aspirations as a writer, my grades in school showed that I was on my way to becoming a prodigy, and I truly believed nothing could stop me.”
“But then, a little thing called “life” came and slapped me across the face, reminding me that I still needed to make a living. I ended up working at this little known fast-food restaurant (McD’s), while also cleaning toilets at a retail store.”
John’s chest rises. “Can you two stop talking about puke and shit while I’m eating? That’s disgusting!”
Galuri continues. “As I was saying, trying to make my American Dream a reality wasn’t as easy as I expected. A lot of sh…”
Galuri stops as John looks at him with murderous intent and a knife. Where did he get that knife?
“A lot of bad things happened,” Galuri continues, “but I learned plenty about life and didn’t get slapped across the face as much, anymore.”
“Can you give us a more detailed analysis of the story?” I say.
Galuri shrugs. “A more detailed analysis?”
“Yes, that’s the whole point of Shameless Self-promotion. You have to give the summary -which you already did-, then the analysis and the memorable quotes.”
“Are you still doing that?” Galuri asks. “Because you didn’t do it last time.”
I am confused, then realized he is right. I didn’t do the usual script on My First Transgression on the last Shameless video.
What a shame.
“Well, I guess I forgot about it,” I say.
Galuri continues. “What I can analyze from it is that I was very judgmental at the time. I mean, I judged everyone, including myself. I was particularly harsh on myself.”
John says, “And then what happened? Did you become a better person back in 2008?”
“No,” Galuri says. “It took me ten years to be able to do that.”
We all shake our heads.
“What about the memorable quotes?” I ask Galuri.
He is very excited about that, almost like a kid. “Oh, there are so many good ones!!”
But I have to be careful about this. I know Galuri very well, and to him, the definition of ‘good one’ might not be appropriate. “For example?” I ask, already fearing the worst.
Galuri says, “the first quote is: “Even if I didn’t amount to anything, I still walked like I owned the motherfucking world.”
The look of surprise on my face was a language on its own, and since Galuri lacks the knowledge of such a mysterious tongue, I translated to him.
“I don’t think I like that one. I mean, it’s too strong.”
Galuri always gets defensive when you disagree with him. “Well, I didn’t like the title you picked for the book.”
Frowning, I say, “I thought you liked it.”
“I don’t like it, either,” John says.
I started to think about it, considering that I would need to talk to these two next time I release another book. Who knows, they might even have better title ideas.
“Alright,” I say. “Let’s move on. Galuri, do you have another quote?”
Galuri starts to think, and you can see in his eyes that he has something. I hope it’s better, more appropriate.
He says, “There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. I didn’t know why they were so scared of that?”
I am pleased. “That one is way better, Galuri.” I look at John and ask if he likes it. The burger in his mouth keeps him from uttering an intelligible sentence. But I understood him anyway.
“Give us one more, man,” I say, looking at Galuri.
“Her smile was the kind of smile influential people use. Slightly intimidating, yet completely inviting.”
I frowned. “That doesn’t say anything.”
“You want to know what it means?” Galuri ask.
“Fair point,” I say, looking at the book I’m reading. “Great Job, Galuri. I think you’re ready to start reading your stories. Have you recorded anything?”
Galuri’s hands start to shake; his eyes move around like mice in a cage. “Um. No, I haven’t.”
“What are you waiting for? You know I cannot do everything by myself.”