Reese Wells's Very Untrue Life Story: A Preface

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My name is Reese. I had wanted to save that first line for Montana, where I hope to write the rest of this book, but I stayed up all night thinking about my opening sentence and decided that today – a week from Montana, was the day to do it. I don’t particularly wish to sacrifice another night’s sleep thinking about all this madness anyways. Don’t believe a word of this book. There are no facts to be had. They are just words, my words, and I already doubt the validity of much which will be written. The conversations are jumbled in my head. I just hope to make sense of them on paper. What little I do get right shall be so laced into the fabric of false memories – the spins of the psyche – and you won’t be able to tell one lick of difference when fiction turns to fact. So just, from this page forward, assume that I am snowballing you one big fat rambling lie, and you’re right in its mushy path.

When I think of what direction I want this book to go I have about ten routes in mind, all disjointed, all projecting radially from the central hub of a nucleus. Think of a bike wheel – the spokes jutting out from the hub. I’m going to talk a lot about bicycles in this book. I doubt I’ll touch on motorcycles. I like bicycles quite a bit. Motorbikes not so much. I suppose it has to do with the amount of time I’ve spent on each. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to connect my topics to a unifying theme, like the spokes are bound together by the wheel’s rim.

Speaking of theme, how about we start with awareness. And change. Two broad beginnings, I say. Your protagonist was not a very aware person back in the day. Your protagonist has changed quite a bit since back in the day.

Your protagonist is of course me.

I’ll let you know if and when the theme changes.

Let me also state that all of the names have changed, except for the ones that I didn’t want to change. You won’t know which names are real, and which are fake, because I’ll do such a good job of forgetting truth and lies. However, if there is someone in this wide world named Smelly Balls McGhee, well, I’ve never met you. I doubt there are many – if any – Smelly Balls McGhee out there, so let me go ahead and let everyone who knows a Mr. Balls McGhee that this book does not concern him.

But we won’t talk about Smelly for a while yet. Maybe when I discuss life in Thailand. That would be a nice time to introduce a Smelly Balls, even though that’s a few pages down the line.

Now is be a good time to think about what all to expect from this book … we’ll start with my expectations first: I expect to write 90,000 words in fifteen days in a cabin on Flathead Lake in Montana. I expect to thank the Francis family profusely for their generosity, and dedicate a large part of this book to them. I expect that in my writing I’ll develop blisters on my fingers and some mild carpal tunnel. And so it goes. I expect the computer to crash twice and for me to curse with gusto attempting to recover the lost words. I expect to grow tired of writing and will drink upwards of a hundred pots of coffee to combat the lack of motivation. Once this book is written I expect to have a devil of a time finding anyone who wants to read it. But maybe I’ll get lucky. Maybe you’ll want to read it. I won’t expect you to enjoy it, but I can always hope.

Since I don’t know who you are, I don’t think that I can expect anything of you. However, here’s what I think will happen: I think you will hear about the book from a friend. You will check the price, find it reasonable, and you will buy it. This Preface will be the first thing you read of my book. I think you might laugh at parts, like when I tell the Chapel Hill police ‘I’m an underage drinker, please don’t shoot!’ I think you might put down the book in disgust, likely at the part where I discuss my masturbatory habits in churches across the country. Good thing you should assume nothing I say is true, right?

Right.

I think you might take away something worth thinking about … I also think you may never buy another one of my books again. There is always that possibility.

So whatever happens – before you turn the page and we ramble on down the road together – I want you to do take a deep breath in, count to three, and exhale it out to four.

My name is Reese Wells, and this is my very untrue life story.

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