You are reading a book. Somewhere else in America, someone is writing one. For now, you’re reading a story that someone else read a year ago and thought it was good enough to spend money on to convince others to read it. So far, it’s not bad. You don’t read it so much for the story as much as you have to read the prose. Why? Because you’re a writer yourself and a year from now (you hope sooner) someone, somewhere, in America will say that your prose is halfway decent and maybe they’ll throw a couple thousand dollars to convince other people it’s worth reading too. You read in your room. Coffee shops are crowded with glowing screens, Spotify indie band playlists, screaming children, and dogs. Too many distractions. Next to you is a guy with a busted looking laptop, typing loudly and whispering to himself over a mug of coffee that was long gone over an hour ago. He’s writing. Probably a term paper or maybe it’s a novel about being 20 something in a popular city in America while experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and a newfound sexuality. It’s probably the latter and more of a reason for you to not read in coffee shops.
So you read in your room. Your computer’s shut off and you close the blinds to your window, even if it’s one in the morning and no one’s awake on a Tuesday. You’re living as you will one day die, alone. For now that’s a good thing. It’s time to concentrate. To study. To see what others have done and what made their story work to get from Microsoft Word to printed page. You reach page three before you hear a knock on your door follow by the turning of a knob. She’s standing there in an oversized t-shirt of her grandfather’s retirement party and leaning against the wall with a look in her eyes. Nothing else.
“Can you read me something tonight?” She asks.