You know how it is when you arrive late to the party and everyone’s already drunk?

I happened to be wandering around Google one evening and passed by this Protagonize place.  It was lit up in the dark.  huh, I thought, eyebrows squinched, what is this?   I tiptoed into the yard and listened to bits of conversation drifting by, one after another.  huh, I thought again, eyes widening, what IS this place?  I surveyed the expansive porch and stared at the front door.  Was I bold enough to peer into its window?  In the glare of the porch light? 

I creaked up the porch steps, prepared at any moment to turn and run.  I crept to the door’s window.  Inside, a dizzying variety of people mingled, drinking up stories and spilling comments all over the floor.  My forehead bumped the window as I watched.  So much laughter popped and bubbled up as conversation flowed.  I pressed against the window.  The door, already ajar, swung open.  I staggered back, unsure I should enter.  Then a voice from the darkened corner of the porch said, “Welcome. Choose your poison and join in.”  

His words seemed to rise out of the youthful recesses of his heart.  And there, on the east corner near the yard’s big oak, was a man sitting comfortably on the porch swing, a frothy mug of cocoa in hand.  He lifted the mug, smiled and motioned for me to join the others.  He then spoke in a strong, smooth voice and I lingered for a long while, listening to the rustling oak and the heartwarming stories of TheRiverTalker.

I could have stayed all night on that porch with TheRiverTalker but a roar of laughter rattled the window glass and a raucous group near the door distracted me.  What I saw shocked me.  I rushed over for a better view.  A man stood in the center of the room, reeking with words.  oh. my. god.  This guy was drunk with stories.  Sentences sloshed out of him with genius abandon.  I was feeling a bit tipsy as I drank it all in.  Who was this mad wordsmith?  As I watched and listened my eyes grew big with wonderment.  This man’s talent was sobering.  And his name was fitting, Tip_A_Steinback.

A graceful, tentative person waved from across the room.  Her words carried a softness and gentle conviction.  A rare treat in a crowd.  I forgave her penchant for poetry and she didn’t begrudge my lack of.  What a delight to find someone as charming as d.f.m.

I picked my poison and joined in. 

I never expected to drink the koolaid but here I am. 

How could I resist the unmistakable enthusiasm of moonwalker and Cassandra?  And what about that guy olius_brightwell?  His soda has extra fizz.   Tasha_Noble’s furry friend tickled my funny bone.  JackRubashevskiy wheeled in a garbage bin and he ‘let the fun begin'.  Followed by Bill_Hartzia lugging that hysterical psychiatric couch behind him.  Then along came the big happy invasion (someday I will write the story The Year The Ficleteers Appeared).  And if that wasn’t enough, I made one more discovery previously unknown, the wonderful witticisms of Archi_Teuthis

Before I go, let me throw something else out there.  This uselessness guy needs to make himself useful and slip on one of his six pairs of shoes and amble over to add to Pistol.  I hope to get my shoes tied and mosey on over there myself and I just might stop off at uselessness’ place along the way.  Keep the porch light on.

So, with that said, I raise a toast to fellow Protagonizers too numerous to name and to all who’ve drunk the words of Isaac Asimov:
“If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.“
But Jules Renard said it best:
“Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.”

The End

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