Is this anachronistic—me calling you a dear?
I could just say your name, but then I don’t know your name do I? I don’t even know if you’d like me, or if I’d like you.
Writers who wouldn’t let me touch the inside of a forearm have been promiscuous on the page, addressing perfect strangers—such as myself— as intimates. Can you taste the pubic hair in your mouth? And I—for one—have been deeply touched. Didn’t matter what either of us looked like, or even if our breath stank. Didn’t even matter if one of us was stone-cold dead. We were together on a page. That was okay. Better than okay.
Readers then were individuals and not part of an entirely different phenomenon that’s risen up and which I’ll call—for lack of a better word—the audience.
Readers I am desperate for. Readership not so much. An audience I could do very nicely without. An audience has expectations.
Often as not an audience wants to be lied to. Which reminds me of another joke.
What did Raggedy Anne say when she sat on Pinocchio’s face?
“Lie to me. Lie to me!”