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.