So, what am I supposed to do with this information
It's 6am and I've just downed a glass of Guinness. Inside it was a half-shot of Makers and half-shot of Baileys. It's breakfast, after all.
I've propped myself up by my elbows on the bar and am sitting within whispering distance of a guy I'd first met face-to-face only six or so hours before.
"Otis, you should write a book."
The sun is coming up and it's painting the guy's face with an awkward mix of natural and fake light that would drive a professional photographer batty. Somewhere, a few seats down, a guy they call Big Mike is negotiating with the bartender to whip up another batch of what we just had.
I should write a book, they say.
I take a swig from the bottle sitting in front of me, scan the room for anybody who may be listening, and say half-outloud, but more to myself...
"A book. About what?"
The past six months have been an interesting time for me. I've endured a professional hellstorm of indifference. I've been blessed with the birth of my son. I've watched Mrs. Otis transform herself from porfessional woman, to mother, to a lovely amalgum of both.
And I've been writing quite a bit.
When I was in kindergarten, I didn't have much of a way to express myself. With crayola, I drew a particulary maudlin sketch of myself in a coffin. It was Memorial Day, after all. The picture landed me with a school counsellor.
By third grade, I was scribbling out the first of what would be reams of little stories. The first one, as I think I've written her before, was titled "The Ants" and chronicled a nasty little camping trip during which the family camper was invaded by big black ants. Write what you know, they say.
By my early high school years I was writing short stories about love lost and murderous thoughts. It's the kind of writing that today would get me kicked out of school and put on a police watch list for homicidal teenagers.
In college, I wrote, but I still don't know what it was all about. I have several notebooks that, in retropect, were little more than a paper-based blog. Looking back, it's probably good that I didn't have a blog back then. A lot of that stuff would've been perfectly embarassing to have out here in public view (as if breakfast Car Bombs aren't emabrassing enough for a 31 year old child).
Once I left college, I dispatched monthly e-mails to friends back home. I called them Deep South Updates. I recall one where I was so lonely and enamored with boneless, skinnless chicken breasts that I puzzled over whether salmonella could be considered a sexually transmitted disease.
And then I made it to where I am now. I met a lovely woman named Susannah
who encouraged me to start a blog. That's this.
Then came Up For Poker
. Then a local magazine. Then ALL IN magazine.
Then, yesterday, I wandered through Barnes and Noble on a Christmas shopping trip and happened to find a copy of a magazine on the shelf. Sure enough, there it was. My name on a couple of articles.
That was odd.
I stood in the perodical section and flipped through the magazine (the latest issue of ALL IN
) and tried to get hold of the idea that I'm...
Well, shit, I don't want to get into that right now.
This is just an odd time for me.
I don't think it's any real secret that I've danced around the idea of being a writer for most of my life. I've always found an excuse, good or bad, not to play with the idea very much.
And, now, I find myself actually considering the possibility.
And, that friends, is a little spooky.