"There once was a young man named Bartholomew who was far too young to be on his own, but there he was. Being a little unsure of himself, he could not always tell when people were being sincere or when people were trying to take advantage of him. But when he knew what he wanted to do, that was what he did.And with that, Bartholomew's story begins to be told. It is a simple story of a not so simple life. But isn't that the way life is? Our lives are full of complications and nuances, yet to tell it, it comes out so simple. "I was born in Minnesota, spent most of my early childhood in New Jersey, grew up outside Chicago in the Western suburbs. I went to Bethel College in Saint Paul, MN..." The whole story is not known by anyone but me. Sometimes, I'm not even sure I know the whole story. The other day someone shared the story of the first time they had met me. It was at an event I attended with two of my friends. I do not remember the event and didn't remember one of my supposed friends (my apologies Darren). There are few people who have a context for my life - and that is the way for most of us.
One evening, while enjoying Dionne Warwick songs and his favorite evening meal of fresh hot corn on the cob, apple red onion marmalade, beans and some kale, one of his twelve telephones rang.
“Hello,” said Bartholomew.
“Hello sir, how are you this evening?” asked the voice on Bartholomew’s cellular telephone.
“I am well. Who am I talking to?” asked Bartholomew in return.
“My name is Gerald. Can I ask you how the siding is on your house?”
Throughout history, people have used story to give children context for the life to come, to give them a way to understand situations they might find themselves in so they can make good decisions. The Book of Bartholomew stories function in a similar fashion, they are stories about situations. Perhaps they are situations you have been, or will be, in. There are not morals at the end, as with many children's stories. I do not presume to know what is right for most other people, although I suggest you stop killing people if that is what you are about. But, I have had some fun and interesting experiences (some scary) and I am sharing them here through the characters of Bartholomew's world. And I would love to hear your experiences and situations.
I have enjoyed exploring while writing these stories. I can only hope that you will enjoy them, and in turn, think well of me and come take care of me instead of me having to do everything for myself. Perhaps you will bring ice cream and chocolate and let me watch football until I am fat with digital overload. Then you will draw me a bath (with a 2h pencil) and massage the digital fat out of me with your powerful soothing fingers and feed me sweet potatoes and kale. Perhaps you will take me to France? Perhaps that is too much to ask.
- Mark Granlund