70 degrees and over cast. I’ll wear my jean jacket and I’ll look forward to eating oysters on the half shell. And he will wear denim shorts and tall black socks. And we’ll talk about fires and books and mineral water. And we’ll quote Byron and try to remember our plans, and then we’ll go to an event. And the thing about these events is that it is the drinks after that really bring the people together.
When writer’s talk to each other, they maintain eye contact. Sometimes for several hours. It’s alarming.
of the writer who wrote a book. And then submitted that book. And that book was accepted. And now that book has a home. A place of it’s own. The writer is so happy. Happy for her book. And also just plain happy. She keeps laughing deliriously and trying new food. Chicken feet and satan. And baked oysters. And yellow beets covered in sea salt and burnt sugar and dark coffee grounds.
This is the story where you say out loud to yourself
someday I will be published
and today is that day.
Oh my fucking god.
of the paper on the calendar and the network on the phone and the hair in the sink and the cookies in the fridge and the grounds on the counter and the beer on the porch and the bacon in the oven and the crumbs in the butter and the hole in the floor and the water on the stove and the dirt in the sheets and the books on the bed and the porn in the kitchen and the radio on the island and the scotch tape on the ceiling.
The writer works from home.
1) Any news?
2) It sucks doesn’t it?
3) Have you eaten?
4) Come to the reading at The Hide Out with me.
5) You’re the best writer.
6) You are.
7) Remember that one essay in The Rumpus about Jesus and Don DeLillo?
8) Didn’t I write that essay?
9) You did! I loved that essay!
10) Thank you!
the writer quit her job. Her day job. Her restaurant. Not her restaurant. The restaurant that pays her five dollars an hour plus tips. Three days a week. She’s been there four years and now this Saturday is her last day. She turned in her kazoo. She emptied her flare onto the pavement. She fell on her knees.
For some reason they don’t put the mats down during dinner shifts. And she slipped and fell. To her knees. Bruised her knees. Cut her finger. Quit her job.
The writer got an ongoing freelance gig that’s fun and fast and pays about as much as a Saturday on a busy brunch patio. And then the writer remembered her old career as a figure model and put her name on some bulletin boards. And the hourly rate is considerably higher than it was nine years ago while the writer is still paying under a thousand a month for her two bedroom. And the writer has a small part in a small movie that will pay some real money, small. But, real.
There’s a million ways to not die.
It’s just me. No kids. No mortgage. No car.
There’s my husband. He drives a Honda. He has some jobs.
Two cats. Take pretty good care of themselves.
Student loans don’t scare the writer anymore.
Nothing really scares the writer. She’s been to the bonfires and seen all the lights. She’s got salt on the rim of her tin can and she’s eating her lunch out of a brown paper bag.
Caution. Wet floor.
you expected. It doesn’t start at the beginning. There’s no music. There’s no soft opening. There’s no early bus ride through the fancy part of town. There’s no spirit. There’s no idea. There’s no reason to be taken seriously.
She makes a game of collecting sex toys. One from every city.
She has a dull pain down the right side of her body.
She writes about her mother.
She eats banana peppers and quinoa.
She likes putting things down. Putting things down and looking at them is like her favorite thing.
God bless America.
Of last night when Megan (affectionately nicknamed Slim) quoted Amy Poehler of all people. She said,
you have to know when it’s time to turn in your kazoo.
Apparently Amy Poehler worked at some kind of burger joint right out of college. One of those places where you wear funny hats and sing songs into plastic mouth pieces any time a stranger claims it’s their birthday.
The writer knows that
lots of people wait tables. Lots of people wait tables for a very long time. Lots of people make lots of money waiting tables.
Ann Patchett writes of her days slinging fajitas.
The writer spent all of yesterday afternoon at a temp agency; taking tests, and signing dots, and getting hungry.
Temporary office work. Filing. Answering phones. Proofreading.
Kind of like trading in your kazoo for a blow horn.
This is the story that jumps back in time about ten years when the writer waited lots of tables at the adorable cafe on the first floor of The Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue.
And one quiet July morning the writer was serving a strange mother and her three beautiful children hot dogs and cappuccinos, and the strange mother looked up at the nice writer and said
you in school honey?
No, not right now. Said the writer.
And then the strange mother looked down at her three beautiful children and said
see kids, this is why you have to go to college so you don’t end up working a job like this.