Writers? Maybe this is you.
Do you remember all the people, as you were growing up, that were going to be writers? What happened to them? Especially that one kid in junior high–oh so much cooler than I–who wrote that great sci-fi military story, the one I dared criticise, because I just do? I started beating my head against the wall, it seems, about the time he stopped. I threw some airy fancy together about people living in retreat from ecological disaster, sent it off to a youth writer’s camp, and drove off in a van with a communist martial artist, a living Jane Austen character, and a grammatically correct grandma who extolled the virtues of public radio and prudishness. I’ve only held an English teacher in contempt once, and it wasn’t her. Drove off–came back. Esme and I had a roommate who has probably either overdosed or had too many kids too young by now. By the end of the first day, the divinely serene Miss Esme (she enjoyed being long-distance runner, if that tells you anything) vouchsafed to me that while she, too, had had hardships as a child, she didn’t feel it necessary to tell everyone around her. And the first contemporary poet that I ever read and liked sold and signed for me a professional chapbook.
The mind boggles. Whether or not they’re famous–whether or not they’re published–isn’t what I want to know. Do they write? At least I know Lee still writes (he says he’s working on a story for me!). And Doyce still writes. I haven’t kept in touch otherwise.