Today I received a package from the Fulfillment Center! You can just imagine how my heart soared, how my imagination went wild. The Fulfillment Center!? I had no idea such a place existed. What might they be capable of?
And the return address was Kansas, from which odysseys to magical lands of witches and talking lions begin. Fulfillment in a plain brown box? This was not how I had expected fulfillment to arrive, so nondescript and anonymous. I had pictured perhaps the Pulitzer spokesperson calling to tell me my work was the absolute best. They had considered all those slackers and wannabes and chosen me instead. The spokesperson would spend an inordinate amount of time gushing over my writing, I would finally have to make up an excuse to get off the phone because his compliments would become tiresome.
The Nobel Prize committee spokesperson would have called, too, to tell me that despite my lack of a single published book, they wanted to reward my potential, much like awarding the Peace Prize to Obama just before he doubled down in Afghanistan.
If only I had known about the Fulfillment Center when I was a teenager. I would have saved all my waitressing money and sent it off to the FC (that's the kind of relationship we would have had, in which I called them the FC), and asked for remittance of 1) popularity, 2) good hair (curly dark hair was not fulfilling, believe me), and 3) a tan. What's that you say? Fulfillment is more of a Buddha thing? More spiritual and monkish? Really? I had never heard that.
And what was actually in the box, you might ask. A magnifying mirror I ordered. Darn. Looking at my face in magnification will definitely not be fulfilling, I can tell you that.