Heartfelt Instead of Smart Ass (at least that’s my intention at the beginning of this road to hell)

Day Three of Travels with George:

Today was a day for strange conversations.  I talked with an immigrant from Communist China who thinks the Jews control the defense industry, a softball referee who finds his 14-year-old players secretly attractive, a father who got into a restaurant food fight with his son and a ginseng grower who thinks the whole thing is bullshit–but bullshit that sells!  Each of those is worthy of some description, a lengthy examination, even.  That’s not going to happen, though.

Today I spent the day with George, who told me about the importance of reducing risk per sale when dealing pot by the 10-lb. increment in the 70s, a new design for an engine, the advantages of federal over state prisons, ways to proofread a book using a light table and negatives, the story of his father’s funeral and more about Marshall McLuhan and Teilhard de Chardin than I thought possible for any one man to know.  Since I’m now considering writing a memoir about George’s life instead of my own, I could start a rough draft here.  That’s not going to happen, though.

Today I had a childhood dream come true.  Really.  My first published novel, On Account of Because, is now available from Amazon (and me, of course.)

Ever since I first tried to show off for Abby Levine, an attractive older girl of 11 when I was eight, by writing a book for her approval, I’ve had a hankering to publish.  (No, the mysterious and alluring Abby wasn’t smitten by what I’d written.)

When I was 15 and in love for the first time, I wrote a book for the fascinating, beautiful, older and mysterious Kelly Boucher.  The Tuxedo was a too-long short story about my meeting and winning Kelly, then losing her to an older guy who had a sports car AND a father who owned a freaking flower shop!  I filled out the pages with lots of poetry and snippets, and hoped it would win her back.  It didn’t.

When I was 21 and in love with a fascinating, beautiful, older, mysterious, married and pregnant 28-year-old woman, I tried to pry her away from her husband with promises of a book to be called The Strangest Goddamned Story in the World.  That book was never written, and never will be.  She is still married, and happily at this point, I believe.  I’d thought about dedicating On Account of Because to her as well as my three daughters, but didn’t want to rekindle almost 40-year-old flames of anger on her husband’s part.

Today I am 58, and have a novel in print–not for Abby Levine, not for Kelly Boucher, not for the unnamed woman, but just on account of because.

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