I’m working on my laptop in Hardwick’s Front Seat Coffee when a man who I wanted to sell my house to, a few years back, comes up to me. In those days, he and his wife had a few young kids. The house was creative and cool, but in fairly lousy physical shape, and I believed he had the skills to right the rotten places. Life unspun in a different way, a pandemic set in, and that was that.
He’s now read my book about addiction. When we hug, he smells of woodsmoke. These days, he’s boiling sap outside, making syrup for his family.
When my youngest tells me she doesn’t know why anyone would ever write a book, I tell her there’s no reason at all, perhaps, except that it seems impossible NOT to write the book. Maybe all creativity is this way — that we’re driven to do things that otherwise no rational human would. Thank goodness for the madness of art, really.
After we talk about writing and addiction, he tells me he and his wife bought a house I once knew quite well, and we marvel at the interconnection in our little world. I may see him next week, or not for four years. And then our conversation will undoubtedly begin again.