got a chance to be famous the other week. I was with the wife at Juniors, our official dining room, when a curious (and ego-boosting) thing happened.
Okay, needed backstory: I’ve given Early ReTyrement to our two waiters. One of them saw us always reading at the table and asked for any toss-out books we might have (he wanted to get into reading). Of course, I probably poisoned the well by giving him my self-published novel. And then the other waiter said she wanted one too. It’s okay, I’ve got a box full of these literary loves). So I’ve pretty much supplied the waiting staff with reading material.
Back to the story – we were walking towards the front door when one of our neighbors came out. We were standing with her just outside, chatting about Ohio Drive crap, when two young Latino girls came out of the restaurant. They asked me if I was “that writer guy”. Well, I am, but I was confused since I’m generally not recognized on the street like that (not even by my mom, truth-be-told). So yes, I told them that, at least in that sense, I was “that writer guy”. Turns out that they’d been talking to one of the waiters and had noted that they both wanted to learn to write (because, you know, it’s easy money, right?). And the waiter (bless his heart) pointed me out where I stood gasbagging in the door and told them I was a writer). And so there they were, so optimistic and naive, gushing about famous-me.
I gave them the usual advice – specifically to not quit day jobs (if you are going to be successful, you will be, but it’s good to have food and shelter while fame finds you). And also, of course, is that it’s easy to write when you feel like it, but not so easy when you don’t (like, say, when you are trying to finish up a blog deadline at 6am day of, like, well, now). But they gushed and asked where they could buy copies and I pointed out Joybird Books (just down the street).
And that was cool. I watched them trot off in their young bouncy way and felt the old dreams of youth come back to me.
Then I went inside and had a great cup of coffee and a plate of eggs.