The Book Release Party: A Tragic Monologue

Scene: A well-attended book release party; the Author has just given a long and sentimental speech, lauding the efforts of his Editor and his Agent. Much applause follows.

Assistant: (Sotto voce, with much passion) Oh, success, fine sir! 'Tis yours indeed, and verily 'tis much deservèd! Yet, friend, who saw your Proposal in its original state? Who was your first and humblest reader? To whom was delegated the mighty labor of making said Proposal a work of greatness? Lo, sirrah, who undangled your participles? repurposed the tragic mediocrity of your sentences? who drafted the finest of sub letters, laboring painstakingly over every word so that your pedestrian intellect might be disguisèd as a beacon of hope in the wilderness? Who polished thy dull metaphors 'til they shone with the light of a thousand suns? Who spotted that tiny gleam of original thought in the morass of thy tendentious prosody? 'Twas it not the Assistant, who contents herself now in her corner, with her (admittedly tasty, good sir) bacon-wrapped scallops and Trader Joe's wine, that thou hast offered her for provender!

And yet the sweetest of succor hast been denied her, that recognition which is her due! that it was she who laboriously rewrote every sentence of your Proposal, that Editors may happen upon it and remark among themselves, Yes, my colleagues, let us offer this magnificent fellow an advance of many figures! Let us lavish upon him the most excellent of publicists, and the highest of production budgets! for this is the finest Proposal that has come to our offices in many a long year!

Nay, sirrah, thou wilt never remember the poor Assistant, who in no small way is responsible for your triumphs! And this humble Assistant shall never point out to you how little your efforts would have amounted to without her, for such is not her role! Her part in this great comedy is merely to gnaw quietly upon the tender crudités of your success, her secrets held close to her heart; she shall toil ever in obscurity, that your accomplishments may be all the mightier! Mayhap, good sir, on your journey to the stars, you might remember her from time to time, with some fondness; and perhaps for your next book release, commission a more generous barkeep, that she might drown her sorrows upon the first draft, and not be obliged to ask repeatedly for a refill.