“On Monday, indulge in a few cocktails and start the next great American novel…”
It was the first entry on my To Do list.
Sure, “successful” people will tell you it’s important to set goals, but I have no idea what the Hell inspires me to think I am any sort of writer.
I might have a similar affinity for drinking and bullfighting, and plenty of inner demons of my own to cope with, but that is as close as any sort of comparison to Hemingway might go.
I hated On the Road.
My writing skills are so subpar they resulted in my English teacher my sophomore year of high school telling my parents I would never amount to anything in life because I could not write.
Sure, the next time I saw that same English teacher after that school year was some 15 later as I was sitting in a coffee shop, writing an article I was being paid to submit to a newspaper when she walked in. The fact of the matter remains “next great American novel” is very likely beyond my skill set.
Yes, there is still a kathartic fantasy of dimly lit rooms, smoke and whiskey and keyboards that drives me to write, regardless of whether or not it’s good. The escape of creation. A depth to persona. A mystery of character.
Yes, there are plenty who will argue I have the talent to string words together; just ask my Nana. (We’ll get you your chapter later, E.) I did make my living as a sports writer for a while, but sports is easier. Watch the game, ask the players and coaches what they saw, polish those thoughts up and string them together coherently.
“Quakers over Avengers, 3-1. Game 7 next Friday, 10 p.m., at the Vet.”
That is sports, but the “next great American novel”?
You have to come up with the words to string together for that one. As my track record with women will tell you, creating opportunity was never really my specialty.
Even before I got to sophomore year in high school, my freshman year English teacher took issues with my abilities as well. She didn’t tell me my life would be an abject failure. Her message was far more complicated to understand.
“So what?” is all she would write on any paper I turned in.
Pretty sure I still have no damn idea, Miss Wood.
Hell, that “Monday” I was speaking of in the opening sentence was more than a week ago and I’ve only gotten this far. Hounded by the question that always seems to get thrown at me of “What, exactly, is it you you do here?”
I couldn’t fuckin’ tell you.
A new adventure?
A new chapter?
I don’t really know.
“Champagne dreams on a beer budget,” is what the Momma once told me.
Here is what I can tell you: We could spend some time debating whether or not I quit, was pushed out or was fired, but four days ago – from the time I penned this sentence – I was excommunicated from a company I had dedicated almost nine years to. I am 35-years old, vastly underemployed and now I’ve also had those cocktails I was talking about in that opening line and think I can use this space to create something.
That is the goal.
Whether or not I know where this story begins, ends or where Chapter 2 is, I just want to get something out there. I’m not sure I have the arrogance or the self-confidence to really undertake such a journey, but cheap rum can make you say some crazy shit.
Photos and adventure. That’s the goal. With good stories to weave it all together.
Now the real work begins.
Last Row Sports is going on the road.