A story you wrote is in this book. The book is sitting next to me.
I’ll buy your book, I said, when you told me your story was in there.
And you said, Why? Here, just have it for free.
You wrote me a dedication page inside so I would always think of you when I read it, the way you think of me when you read my stories. That’s according to the dedication page. But you didn’t have to write that. I already know you think of me.
My ex girlfriend used to write dedication pages in books she gave me and that’s how I know she really cared, because a book is what you give someone when you really do.
I’m reading your words and I can see them being formed. I mean I can see you typing them. I can see you sitting neatly in front of your laptop, one leg curled under the other, the way you type a line, then delete it, then think of a better one and type it again. And again.
I can see your hands poised above the keyboard so long that I feel the undersides of your forearms start to ache.
I’m reading the other words in the book. There are all kinds of words in here, about all kinds of things. Words from famous writers and less famous writers, writers whose names strike a chord and names I would be honored to have mine next to, that I’m sure you were too. Words particularly designed to make you feel.
None of the words are as good as yours.
Your words are next to me and I like them here because it makes me feel like you’re here. In a way it’s almost better than if you were actually here because this way I can hold your words in my hand and close to my chest and not worry about them going anywhere.
Your words are next to me and this is how I know they won’t change.
Some people would feel jealous or inadequate about having your words in a book next to them, silently asking them questions, your success peeking in while they scramble to put their pants on, but I think it’s encouraging. I think it’s encouraging to have a piece of little raw soul.
Maybe one day my words will be in a book next to you and you’ll see what I mean.