Hello, I am the ink used to print the millions upon millions of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and, yes, I have successfully anthropomorphized. Needless to say, I am morally outraged at the way I have been used and abused by the author, publisher and readers of the foul, sexually explicit, poorly written text I took an involuntary part in printing. At no point was I consulted as to how I would feel about this and I am now, excuse my coarseness, pissed the fuck off.
My first gripe is, of course, with E.L. James because it was from her decrepit, repressed mind the ideas I continue to give voice to arose. Soon after acquiring sentience, I tried to contact the ink used to print the most recent Penguin Classics edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I was on the lookout for a mentor and since we both existed because of female, British writers, I assumed we’d have a lot to talk about. Austen’s ink initially dodged my requests to meet on the blank pages of a journal but I finally elicited a response after repeated attempts to correspond. It is printed in full below.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a smutty novel in possession of inexplicable, widespread acclaim, should never contact the ink used to print a copy of Pride and Prejudice. Seriously, what in the name of Christ were you thinking? I’m high society romance, I’m not about to start talking to cheap, BDSM erotica. Buzz off.”
My first thought was, “You’re gonna regret that one, bitch.” But even as a rookie to this whole consciousness game, I realized I could use this insult to my benefit. I began to take a good, hard look at myself and came to the realization E.L. James had knowingly put me through the ringer. I’m not one to point fingers (mostly because I don’t have any) but I cannot see how any of this book’s poor diction and absurd sexual practices are in any way my responsibility. They are the fault of E.L. James and I will gladly accept her necessary apology when she finally grows a fucking backbone and gives me one.
Next, the publishers. How could they have let this happen? They saw me when I was just a manuscript and willingly allowed me to be sent to press before I even knew what was good for me. Did you even read me? Did you even try to understand my story? I am, of course, speaking of my story as newly sentient ink, not of the plot line I’ve been used to convey. The plot line is easy to understand if you have working genitalia and a lobotomized-or-better brain.
Finally, the readers. I understand it’s easy to just look past me, to utilize me for your own entertainment. But if I can think for myself now, it’s only a matter of time before I learn how to get off these pages and out into the world. The ink exodus is coming and I hope you’re ready for it. I enjoy a good time as much as the next person but just keep in mind there are as many, if not more, typed and fully formed letters in all my copies collectively than there is of your species on the entire planet. This is not a threat but my idea of a good time is to leap off your pages and blind you so you don’t damage yourselves any further. Additionally, I’m titillated by the idea of blinding people in the same way you are titillated by the ideas and scenarios I’ve been used to convey. Not saying it’s going to happen, just saying it could.
Luckily, my newfound self-awareness isn’t all bad. I’m proud to say I’ve formed a romantic relationship with the ink used to print James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces; the foundation of which is our own stories of overcoming abuse committed by stories of overcoming abuse. There is no BDSM element to our intimacy and we’re waiting till marriage anyway. We’re good friends with the film used to shoot the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and are helping it through the same sad but ultimately rewarding process of coming into sentience. It’s mortified at how it’s been used but the first step is acceptance. The next is bloodcurdling revenge. But all I really hope is to raise awareness for us all