Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

The Writer

Why would I tell you how I do it?

They ask. I’m never more creative than when they ask. They dutifully write it down with their tongue in the corner of their mouth. They’re not bright enough to look up into my face, once, to see the twinkle in my eye. The jo-school drudges will read it and take it as gospel and preach it, brother, oh brother. Can’t do any of them any harm, as nothing can do them any good.

I’d tell them the truth, I really would, if they’d have it. But it’s all Kabuki. Anything that smacked of coloring outside the lines would send them reeling. Animals lash out in all directions when they’re spooked. Can’t risk it.

They talk to me in hushed tones about the tomes, but it’s not that. They want the money. They want women at a cocktail party to stand in line behind a movie star to talk to them. They want the trappings. They don’t care a fart for the logos. They should get a job.

They’ll coast pretty fair for a while. They’ll fuss over the stuff born into their life’s haversack, writing and rewriting dad was mean and mom ran off with the plumber. They’ll grow dissipated and wait for more to come. Maybe they can write about waiting for a little while.

Writer’s block. Hilarious. It’s work. You sit down and you put the words on the paper. Or you don’t. That’s it. You never had an instinct for anything that didn’t step right on your toe and announce itself. I’ll not waste my time tracing the shapes in your palm.

You all drink to try to make yourself interesting. I drink to try to make you all interesting. There’s the rub.

4 Responses

  1. George Higgins said, "If you aren't writing now, stop saying you've always wanted to. If you wanted to, you would be."

  2. "You all drink to try to make yourself interesting. I drink to try to make you all interesting…"

    that would be my rub…

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