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The Misadventures of Tom Jones, Time Traveler--Being a dialogue between two hemispheres of the author's brain that is neither uncommon nor blessed with a happy outcome

Wow.
Best. Dream. Ever.
Are you getting it down?
It practically writes itself! Beloved literary hero in an adventure leaping between epochs instead of bedrooms . . .
Don't forget the bit where Tom vanishes from Molly's arms and lands naked on the Western front. That's hot.
. . . a picaresque bildungsroman the like of which has never been seen . . .
Time travel with titillation is what it is.
Don't be vulgar.
He jumps a century every time he comes. It's so vulgar it's brilliant!
It's a metaphor for generational memory and youth's misspent passions, taking the grandest themes of Fielding and Wells and--
Mashing them together in a story that made you sweaty. Don't deny it. I was there.
Yes, but that's not the point--
We want it to sell, don't we? That is the point.
We still want it to be about something! Something more than the crap you're always filling our head with.
Here we go. You always look down on the stories I like. So what if they sometimes have spaceships in them! Not my fault if all you see in them is giant space cigars.
Everything's a metaphor--
For what? The overreach of the Jacobite Revolution? Yeah, sure. This is just like the time you convinced me that teleporters deconstruct contemporary notions of identity and embodiment.
They do, and I still maintain we had a perfectly good story until you added all that violence. Attract the male audience, you said. Help it sell, you said. And did it?
No, but--
Exactly. We're never going to sell anything at the rate we're going.
Not if you keep sucking the life out of every idea we ever have.
Not if you keep dragging everything down into the gutter.
Philistine.
Ignoramus.
God, this exhausting.
The argument or because it's three in the morning and we drank too much tequila again?
We take the fifth.
Ha. Let's sleep on it, then, see what we've got in the morning. Maybe this time we'll figure it out.
Deal. Goodnight.
Sweet dreams.
Seriously?
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 19th, 2019
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