I was in a funk about writing. Just re-upped the site for five years and found myself wondering what the point of all this writing is. There was even a cartoon I saw HERE that said it all for me. Yes, it made me sad, but it’s oh-so-true.
And then tonight, my wife and I went to Arby’s.
JB was over at the table and I was standing at the counter. The counter-guy had gone off to dump our curly fries into the vat and I was just standing there, thinking my what’s the point of writing thoughts. And that’s when a behind-the-counter girl walked by, saw me, and just said “HI!” (yes, all caps).
She was so cheerful. I noted (smiling ruefully) that she wasn’t missing much by working tonight, what with the rain sleeting down.
“Oh, I’d be practicing anyway.”
She told me how she loves to play; been playing since she was ten. And how, if I wanted to learn any musical instrument, how she could set me up with a tutor, even a free one. And how she was trying to get into Rollins College just to formalize her skills, but that was incidental. What she wanted to do was play her cello.
It was what she did.
As I walked back to our table with the food, I thought about her quest for… cellation? Would she ever really get a chance to play in some symphony? Would she ever wear an evening dress and bow, bulky instrument in hand, while rave applause came down? No, probably not. She might never even get into Rollins. But when she wasn’t behind that counter at Arby’s she practiced, not worrying about fame and fortune and recognition and success.
She just defined herself by her art, and that was good enough.
Not often a fifty-four year old worldly writer can pick up a tip from a fast-food cook twenty-five years his junior.
But I think I did.
Writers write. That’s what’s important.