The reality crew were in my office and I was dreadfully embarassed at them, while they walked around photographing things and saying oh it’ll be fine, I mean you signed the contract. It wasn’t a very impressive or nice little office, either, some hole in the wall in a second storey of a mall while outside the sun was too hot and shone on the window I couldn’t black out because of the terms of the lease.
“Well I’m actually a descriptivist-” I kept trying to say. “My personal feelings about words are that they have no inherent meanings but usages of common acceptance-”
“Nice, nice, real nice,” they shot back, the scrawny little man with a mop of black hair who looked like he’d make an excellent background extra who was later revealed at the end of the movie to be a terrible serial killer. Just didn’t seem like he was listening to me at all. “So you just wait here until the contracts happen?”
“Yeah. I mean eventually, someone steps out of line or someone who can pay me hires me and I just uh, do my thing.”
“Ooo, that’s when it gets rough?”
“Sometimes? I mean most of the time I just stop using the word and that makes it slowly dissolve and disappear-”
“… is that it?”
“No, no, I mean sometimes the word needs to be argued about and-”
“Yeah, that’s… that’s when things get messy.”
The phone rang. A blur of spaces and times. Remembering moments where things got rough. Kneeling across a word’s ‘chest’ as I beat it down, because it refused to stop. Chasing a word through tbe back streets, leaping off chain link fences to get over barking dogs as I pursued a word at the behest of a client.
Dragging a word up a glorious red carpet, to the front of a throne, battered, my hair loose, a smudge on my cheek, as I stood before the Empress, the Witch Of Words – “Here’s the word you demanded be apprehended.”
Slowly, she extended her scepter to me, even as she peered down at the intangible mass of communicative pronunciations next to me, glaring resentfully back at her.
I woke up.