The table is ready:
The entertainment is ready:
The orchestra is ready:
I am ready:
Everything, in fact, is prepared for the celebration of my second year on Vox. Now, last year's festivities were a bit wilder, and while understandable, they left me in considerable debt – with litigation, neighbors to appease, various stains to remove, furniture to replace (although it was probably time to get a new refrigerator, I was dour enough to assume that the doorway would be used for its leave-taking, rather than the window) and doctor's/psychiatrist's bills to settle. My neighborhood, though charming, does tend to get a little feisty when merry with drink.
So this year, we are more sedate. And you are all invited. I have many speeches prepared, and I will probably cover topics such as how grateful I am for this little creative marketplace. I'll mention how happy I am to write my little essays about, oh, a feather I picked up, or the color of sea sand, or the little tragedies carried around in history's pocket.
And then there'll be an intermission. Chocolates and sherry will be served in the Brocade Boudoir, and under each seat you will find your very own copy of the book that explains it all:
Directly after, I will continue to say what a fine sound my creativity makes as it bounces against the walls of The Cafe Royal – rather than escaping through an open window, or a door left ajar, past my outstretched hand, vanishing forever. I'll talk about how I value my friends and neighbors. You have shown great mercy and patience.
And now that you are assembled an Aubrey's Auditorium, I feel doubly honored. Oh, and down in front, by the way: you're precious to me, but where are your manners?
I'm very glad to be here. After all, I need a place to rest – because the imagination never sleeps.