I WISHED I hadn’t asked.
Bastian-Lotsofgermanicconsonants guided me to an unused tutorial room, locked the door behind us (excessive!) and started to set up his powerpoint presentation in the dark: hostage by laptop if you like. I didn’t. But he knew too much. And I needed to know a little more.
“So as you can see,” he said, as if addressing a packed auditorium, “according to my projections, you won’t be famous ever”. Noticing my sad face, he raised a finger, holding it in front of him, as the projector puked blue light onto his spectacles.
“But look!” he clicked the clicker thing that clicks to move a slide along. “Author I’ve never heard of. Dead! Author I’ve never heard of. Dead! Author I maybe had heard of. Dead!” He really emphasised the ‘dead’ part, spitting small globules of saliva that arced through the light source.
So far, a lot of dead authors had been mentioned, along with deceased artists and a smattering of musicians. “Do you see what I am gettig at!” He looked angry, so angry his thinly veiled Bavarian accent, marched on through, crushing the English.
I nodded in overly exageratted ups and downs, pretending to take notes, struggling not to doodle anything related to pre-World War II.
“In conclusion! Whether you remain the second rate smith of words…”
“You mean wordsmith.”
“Silence in the classroom!” He glared, then continued. “Wether you remain the second rate word-smith! you currently are, or somehow climb the word strewn heights of the literary world, which, as an aside, would be beyond me and all of the statistics I have produced – highly unlikely – but even if miracles do happen, my friend? (I didn’t like the invisible question mark) then from my calculations, you will not be famous ever. Ever, ever. However! I misled you down a path of gardens! Let you smell the roses! Maybe you were walking barefoot in the grass on a hot summers day. In any case, the fact is, in the best possible scenario, with A LOT of improvement, you could be famous about sixty years after your death.” He let that linger for more seconds than necessary. “Any questions?” he asked smugly. “No, ok then.”