The Writing Process

Sometimes I Daydream about Hemingway

He skulks around my desk, ribbing me about how all the really great authors used typewriters, hurrying me so we can get down to the bar. All the great thinking, he tells me, takes place in a bar. Or a café. Or sometimes alone. But not like this. Not like whatever you have going on in this jumbled alcove here – the stuffed animals, the extension cords, the cap-less glue stick. He doesn’t like my adjectives. Or most of my nouns either. Did you go to school for this? he asks. I shake my head. Did you? He launches into a fishing story as his reply. At first I think it is a metaphor, a story of persistence and writing against the odds, but then I think it’s just a story about a fish. I ask about The Old Man and the Sea, and how he would frame a discussion of the text with high school freshmen. Instead, he lights a cigarette and asks me to dance. Aren’t you married? I ask. Yeah, he replies. But so are you. So we dance, me and Hemingway, instead of writing. Him because all he had to say he lost years ago. Me because I cannot find the words.