August 24, 2012: I’m feeling all inspired. I started my story full of great ideas and romantic thoughts about flying unicorns and how to get to Gotham City.
Once upon a time, in a beautiful town called Candelaria, located in the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia, there was a little girl called Lulu. She was fascinated with animals, especially with unicorns.
For her eighth birthday Lulu’s father gave her a unicorn that she named Gabrielo. As you might already be aware, unicorns can fly. So Lulu and Gabrielo visited many places: they flew to India, Spain, Guatemala, France, and Gotham City (…come on, if you had a flying unicorn, wouldn't you go to Gotham City?). They often flew to Colombia. Lulu was fond of chontaduros and platanos maduros. Gabrielo’s favorite delicacy was guayabas (of course!).
September 10, 2012: I feel really bad for taking so long to finish a one-page story, which a fifth-grader could finish in fifteen minutes. I’m getting too easily distracted lately. (Should I clean my cat’s vomit now while it’s fresh? It’s probably easier to just let it dry. Did I send my blue dress to the cleaners? Oh shit, I didn't call my mom for her birthday!)
During one of their trips around Colombia—specifically to Anzoategui (a little town where people live forever and the water tastes like vodka)—Lulu and Gabrielo met a beautiful siren named Salt while they were vintage shopping in El Corte Ingles (ok…in real life there’s no Corte Ingles in Colombia, at least not the fancy store like the one in Spain, but for fantasizing purposes let’s just imagine that Anzoategui has a multilevel store with vintage clothing and shit). Salt and Lulu became best friends.
One day, Salt invited Gabrielo and Lulu to her home. She lived in a castle high in a mountain, a castle guarded by a dragon called Book-of-Matches. Salt was forced to marry an old ugly man when she was younger. He never allowed her to see the ocean, and she never learned to swim. Salt was a prisoner in her own home. That horrible man was called Carlos Augusto Bustamante (inspired by Mexican soap operas). He used to bathe only once a week, and he ate deep-fried spiders and bats. Salt was miserable. She needed to escape sooner rather than later.
October 2, 2012: Today is the day. I went to the gym, I got a congratulations-for-your-great-job-letter from my boss, and my digestive system is not attacking any of my organs (i.e. I surprisingly don’t have either chronic constipation or unstoppable diarrhea [which I prefer to constipation]).
Book-of-Matches felt miserable too. Guarding a castle wasn't his thing. He was more the type of dragon that liked to play golf and go to the beach. He wanted to leave the castle and be free too.
Mental note #1: I’m sure I killed all my creative neurons (mental note inside a mental note: ask my brother about “creative neurons”…this doesn't sound right) or some horrible spell was cast on me. I won the “Best Story Award” three years in a row in high school. And now I can only come with this crap!? Should I only post Mabel’s drawings and let them do the talking? Nah, I started this damn story and I’m going to finish it!
October 16, 2012: I've reached the point in the story where I become super analytical and think to myself, “Wait a minute, if Salt and Book-of-Matches hated that fatso Carlos Augusto Bustamante so much, how come Book-of-Matches didn't just kill him with a burst of fire? And how come Book-of-Matches, (whom I’m sure knows how to fly, because what kind of dragon would he be if he were guarding a castle and only able to do it by foot?) didn't just fly away with Salt and leave Carlos Augusto Bustamante alone in the castle? Should I just stick to architecture? I Probably suck at that too.
And so Salt left the fatso alone in the castle and she sailed away with Lulu and Gabrielo. Yup, she couldn't care less about living in a castle or having a damn dragon that by all measures was worthless, or even having a closet full of Manolos. She took that fin of hers and left Carlos Alberto Bustamante full of debt and a broken heart.
Mental note #2: I’m starting to like the ironic tone this story is taking. Ok brain, let’s see what else you can come up with.
Book-of-Matches suddenly absconded to The Land of the Lost Dragons (I believe that’s north of Greece, a little bit to the left of Macedonia).
Mental note #3: Even though Meibol’s skills as an illustrator are outstanding, she wasn't able to draw a dragon at the proper scale, leaving me with no other solution than to suddenly remove him from the story. I’m tempted to do the same with Gabrielo. Or maybe I’ll just make him into a porn star. He’s got the face for it. Yeah, I’ll do that.
Gabrielo changed his name to Ben Over and became a porn star. That sonofabitch Salt was driving him nuts, and even though he loved Lulu, she couldn't give him what Ricardo Grande (his boyfriend) gave him. Lulu studied architecture and started a very successful blog called The Papaya Experiment. Salt became the spokes-siren for Chicken of the Sea. She married Fishey Smell, better known as the shark actor who starred in Jaws 1,2, and 3. And they all lived happy ever after!
November 12, 2012: I suck as a storyteller. But I’m happy that after almost three months I managed to finish this damn story!
Thanks to Meibol's Drawings for the lovely illustrations, to Alcibiades for the great pictures, and to my late dad for giving me a little pink unicorn (the stuffed kind, not the real kind, but knowing him he would've moved heaven and earth to find a real unicorn for me) when I turned eight.
Real Nice Thing in Life #14: Hip Hip Hurray! For friends that can draw porn-actor unicorns and gold digging sirens! And for fathers that will do anything for their daughters. I love you, daddy.