I’m in line at Starbucks when my phone rings. I still don’t recognize the iPhone ring tone, so I stand there thinking, Why doesn’t that person at least silence their phone if they’re not going to answer it? for a good ten seconds before I realize it’s me.
I don’t recognize the voice on the other end at first.
He starts talking. I answer, confused, thinking it’s S since it’s a Chicago number. It isn’t until he says, “I miss you. Are you in Denver?” that it hits me.
I smile into the phone. I purr an “I miss you too” back at him. It’s ten o’clock on a Monday.
Old Dave is not a gentleman, but he is a great dresser. He looks like he woke up in a Banana Republic ad. No, better. He is the one who told me that “Birkenstocks are the sweatpants of the shoe,” and that no one would ever love me if I wore them. Old Dave never loved me.
He’s a character of his own creation. He’s part Mad Men, before Mad Men was cool. Every time I think of the Smashing Pumpkins, I think of Old Dave. His tastes are antiquated and disparate. It’s all part of his shroud of mystery.
As the conversation winds down, Old Dave asks me about my romance novel. Yeah, that one. The one I never finished writing. I sent a few chapters to a few people, back in 2010. I hope they never read them. The writing was weak. Limp, if you will.
I tell less people about that now. Real adulthood seems to shun those with literary ambitions, especially the ones who want to write romance.
It’s the third time in a week I’ve been asked about my fiction. I haven’t written fiction since the bad romance bit. It may have killed my desire to put imagination to paper. It certainly killed my credibility as an author. Oh, I’m wincing now. I’ll dig some of it up and publish it – it’s so bad, but I promise you’ll have a good laugh.
I told J last week that I’d write some sci-fi based on a dream he had. I’ve never tried to write sci-fi, and personally don’t really care to, but hopefully this will turn out well. I’m excited. I already know where it’s going, so now it’s just a matter of sitting down and trying to make it work. This excites me. The prospect of writing again is secretly thrilling.