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The Pen Salesman: Part 1

The Pen Salesman: Part 1

My name is Marcus Miller. 22 years old. I work as a parking lot attendant in Laval, a suburb of Montreal, in the year of our lord, 1999. This is not the story of some English guy in his new and strange French surroundings. No. I write because it is how I got here that is important: one year ago my old boss, Will Warbutton, was involved in a brutal accident that changed my life. The second and final time he would change it. Will was the owner of The Magic Writer Pen Company and I was one of his pen salesmen that had it all…

I’m getting ahead of myself…

In my second year of N-college I began sabotaging everything. My studies and passion was in business advertisement; a career in the corporate world would be my destiny. I would be the inventor of slogans, logos, entire commercials for big business. I would wake up every morning put on an expensive suit, and give presentations of my own imagination to sell to the highest bidder and make my millions.

I found out fast but not fast enough that the first steps toward my dream were the wrong ones; school wasn’t panning out as I had planned. Anxious with classes that I thought were too slow, a tedium and snails pace of a curriculum killing any hands on creative action I felt as I was ready for. The alternate slogans, logos, and jingles I made in my spare time filled me with delusions that I could skip the formal training and show up to any boardroom in the country with but the ideas in my head. The depressing, sick-inducing truth was a degree and post-secondary references were my one and only ticket to the show.

There I was, second year of college and miserable. A low outlook I seemed to share with a majority of my classmates; they didn’t even know if business advertisement was the right choice for them: so they partied. First semester of our second year we were thick as drunken, slovenly, sub-human thieves. For me, the flailing fellowship novelty soon wore off and, turning my back on them, I opted to beat up my brain cells in private. I’d thrown in the towel while picking up some nasty habits along the way. I figured I’d squeak out a passing grade and try to enjoy the torture in the meantime.

However, flashes of my old self continued to pop up: unique ideas, under intoxicating circumstances, would grip me in a product stranglehold. Big money still ran my thoughts.

One blurry, three-tylenol-for-breakfast kind of morning the college newsletter I’d left on the kitchen floor caught my eye. Leafing through it I came across an ad that stuck out like a beet-red thumb. It read: “WANT THE BIG BUCKS? I AM A PEN SALESMAN WHO MADE IT BIG AND I WANT YOU!”

A pen salesman who’d made it big?! Who ever thought of that? Was it for real? How the hell does a pen salesman make it big?! The ad was for The Magic Writer Pen Company and it’s owner, Will Warbutton, was holding a seminar near the college the following night. I decided to go. What did I have to lose? At the end of my rope and nerves like Swiss cheese I knew I needed something! If nothing else, I wanted to meet the man responsible for the ad.

Continued next month…

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