A New Act

I think I want some quotes here; writerly types call them ‘epigraphs,’ and I’ll even tell you I briefly considered opening this whole thing by quoting the first stanza of Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me,” but ultimately I decided against it, for the same reason there is no ‘Chapter One’ head—that ‘once upon a time’ opening.

Which I got.

Which means it’s okay to tell you that, as I begin this here brand new act, I’m thinking of lyrics of popular music. I would quote them, but doing so would require obtaining licenses from the artists’ record companies, which costs quite a lot of money I would presume the artists themselves rarely see—Neil Gaiman tells a story that he’d wanted to quote a song by the Brit band Blur, but their company demanded ludicrous remuneration that worked out to something like a hundred bucks per “ooo-wwo!”

So: do you remember City of Angels? That depressing movie with Nicolas Cage as a melancholy angel and Meg Ryan as a doctor? Because the Goo Goo Dolls wrote a song called “Iris” for it, and I can’t imagine it would be difficult for you to Google it to check out the lyrics, or even to bust up the iTunes store and download a copy. While you’re at it, check out the last few lines of their song “Name,” which was one of the earliest hits. Those are songs I’m listening to right now, plus one called “Driving With Your Brakes On,” which is by an Irish band named Del Amitri I would know only for its single “Roll to Me” had I not heard “Brakes” on a Greatest Hits CD I borrowed from my local library.

I mention all those not only because I’m listening to them right now but also because all those feelings those songs convey help set the mood for all the events about to occur. I’ll tell you now it’s going to be another chapter before I end up in the bar where I met Angus, and another chapter again before his nature in the story, or at least his function in it, becomes completely apparent, but suffice to say for now that Angus perhaps knew that I thought about Veronica all the time but wasn’t sure I needed to write. As for the offer he made . . . well, first Christmas at the Sawyers, and then Angus can enter stage right and you can see for yourself.

Wait, what? That’s it? A few song choices? But what did our narrator get Veronica for Christmas? And what will she give him?

Tune in next week for a very Exciting Christmas!