J and O, the neighbors on the other side of the door to our stairwell, have kept a low profile since the before times. we didn't bump into each other so often then anyway, but since march i could count our meetings on one hand, though if you stand in a certain corner of either of our kitchens you should almost certainly be wearing pants. J is also a writer and has worked from home for many years; when we crossed paths in front of our bodega a month ago i mentioned how much i'd loved a piece he'd had in the best american travel writing. he thanked me for reading it and asked about how my work was going; i told him i'd been in a steady and supportive but maybe a bit opiate freelancing cul de sac for most of 2020. give me six pitches, stick a note on my door and i'll put it in front of the right people, he said — he's a decade and change older than i am and a writer at large for a fantastic magazine — and i thought that was a thing i would put together as a reward for hacking through the rest of this year's work. i ran into him again monday; he lacked his/my half-dozen, he said, and i mentioned the reward theory. it would be a reward for us to read them. wait, what i thought was small talk was J mentoring me? (i'd figured i'd always be feral.)

i taped a walter johnson postcard with a note and my email address on J's door, per his singular pitch instructions — J's a sports writer, among other things — and when he wrote, i sent him all the things today. at its best, my work is diligent, unexpected, and a bit creepy, i said in my janky formal note, and if all of this eddies down into Esoteric Ballads For The People, 2020 will have departed with a shred of honor.


Lisa said...

I am not sure exactly how long I have been ringing the bell for you, but, a long time. And it ain't because I'm a nice lady. It's because your gifts are seductive. Sparkly and desire-inducing like a brooch in the window of Van Cleef and Arpels. You don't have to do anything grand with them, of course, if you don't want to. But we who are older and electrified by your writing, we are bound to circle and reach out our hands.

Also, sending love. xoxo.

Lisa said...

Also, you'd never say so, but at its best your work opens a door in the sky.

So says the little girl on a bus in Iceland.

lauren said...

you really have, lisa, and i would tape my heart to your door if i could work through the science.

Laramie said...