The first time I got laid as a writer, she smiled when I asked to smoke outside. I don’t think she heard me over the bar chatter. She just saw me leave into the patio and came with. I lit a Newport in-between October wind gusts while she filled the silence.
“So what have you been writing about?” she asked.
“Well, I applied for a non-paid writers position at a satire magazine on campus a few weeks ago. My friend told me about it. She gave me her editor’s contact and told me to send a sample of my work. Right now, I’m managing/designing a protection scheme for the school’s solar car. It’s my senior project, one of the most difficult Senior Engineering projects in the school’s history. Between that, not missing a game of the Cubs historic 2015 playoff run, and getting yelled at by my restaurant manager who hasn’t been laid in 20 years, I found time to write the sample,” I said.
The cherry on my menthol lit up my face as I took a quick break from my speech. I exhaled and continued.
“I showed it to every one I knew. I mean EVERYONE. My roommate, my lab partners, my fellow engineering nerds, my friend that worked at the magazine, the girl I had a crush on at work, the girl I had a crush on in my History class, and etc. I got a lot of notes. Some I implemented, some I didn’t. I re-wrote the damn thing four times. Waited to the last minute to send it over,” I said.
“Wow” she said. A piece of grey ash smeared on her blue dress. “So what happened?” she asked.
“Well, days went by. I’d check my email but nothing. I’d hear a ding on my phone, only to read flights from Chicago for only 79.00! Orbits bastards. I got asked by everyone that helped me if I heard anything yet, but I had to give them the same lame answer.
Then a week and a half later, I saw an email from an address I didn’t recognize. I quickly pulled it up and read it.
Although your piece was entertaining, we don’t feel you’re a good fit here.
“Oh I’m sorry to hear that,” she said, ” I know writing can be tough thing to get into.”
The wind from the maple leaves rustled and almost blew out my half smoked cancer stick. We took a couple steps back behind a side of the bar.
“You’re not kidding, I ran into my friend who works there. I asked her what the editor thought about it. Now we’d been friends for a while, but she didn’t come clean with me until later in the conversation. Apparently, they spent the first 20 minutes of their meeting talking shit about it. The word choices, the grammatical errors, the sad attempt to be funny. I became a running joke, ” I said.
“Oh my god!” she said. “Did they really?”
I slammed my butt on the ground and looked at her brown eyes. My head slightly nodded.
“Yea they did. I guess one guy kept calling me a no talent ass clown. He even got up and drew a picture of his interpretation of said ass clown. He scribbled the face with red marker and the hair with green. She took a picture and showed me.” I said.
“Wow,” she said. She swayed back and worth trying to keep warm from the chill fall weather.
“Yea I was pretty hurt but what can I do? I just need to get better. You know, work a little harder. I decided to open up a shitty blog. I’m also reading articles about the craft and asking questions daily on a forum.
So as of right now, that’s what I’ve working on,” I said.
She looked back at my wide eyes. Her words hesitated to exit but I already knew what she was going to say.
“Do you still have the piece? Like, do you mind if I read it?” she asked
“Not at all,” I said.
I grabbed her hand and we walked two blocks to my apartment.