There was one of those guys in the coffee shop I frequented – not a natural mentor, shall we say, but gruff and blunt enough to be one of those fellows whose grudging spare respect was highly prized. He’s still livin’ the life of the mind, keepin’ it veritas! In retrospect, he was a failure by the standard yardsticks of adulthood, and he was plagued by a combination of ego, financial constructions and ill humours. After a while you suspected that his Olympian Standards masked corrosive resentment of those whose who succeeded in the literary trade and did spend the afternoon glaring at the coffee-shop help for laughing too loudly. The last time I saw him I had published my first novel; I was sitting in the chair he wanted, and he threatened to punch me in the face if I didn’t move.
Googling . . . well, he’s still out there, still writing poetry and letters to the Nation. Good for him. Lesser men would have chucked it and gone into something that paid the bills. Better men, too, of course.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Lileks had a good little quip today (highlighted in bold):