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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

To The Store Is Where I Go

It’s hard to look at ordinary things and make a compelling story out of them.

I’ve seen writing classes and talked with writing teachers and sampled some of the sour grapes produced in the vineyard of creative writing. I’m telling you that you can’t learn it. You can work at it, but it can’t be taught. You could learn how to spell, but you generally don’t. Working at it is a lonely thing. That’s why it attracts so many lonesome people. Well-adjusted people can only write, dad was mean and mom ran off with the plumber once, and they’ll be fresh out of ideas forevermore.

A college education now qualifies you to type the sentence: To the store is where I go. You knew better than to talk like that when you were seven, but they made you forget it. It’s the price of admission. They promised you that you’d be running free while they slipped the dependent clause halter over your snout.

To the store is not where Guy Clark goes. Guy Clark goes to the store. Lyle Lovett went with him.

A kind soul might tell you how they did it, if you drill enough notoriety and years and money into their skulls to make them feel invincible, but for the most part they lie about it, or change the subject, because it’s a frog. If you dissect the frog it don’t hop no more.

Besides, if they actually told you how they did it, you’d ignore them, anyway, and ask for another answer.

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