Email exchange with a good writerly friend in a far off country. She was lamenting her lack of writing inspiration while lovingly caring for, and bearing witness to, her young son’s poops. All the while comparing the idea of poop to what Mapplethorpe might have been considering… she had just read a book about said photographer.
… I recently finished a great biography of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose life covered none of the issues I just mentioned, except maybe poop and illiteracy. Inappropriate joking aside, I take major inspiration from this brave and difficult soul.
Towards the end of her email she apologizes for being obnoxious, but to me, she is hilarious and of course, brilliant.
There is not a single ounce of obnoxiousness in your voice. Sorry, no.
You make me laugh out loud!
So at the very least, your writing is doing something: making a middle aged woman isolated in a cabin in Vermont whose only friends are the migrant marmots that leave tiny tracks in the iced-over snow that blankets the barren landscape outside her window, laugh. Furthermore, according to her journal entries (only recently discovered by the recycling guy), the tiny beasts only traverse the void every fourth or fifth day, because those are the only periods during which she actually lifts her head from the mattress to glare at what might be happening outside her four, drafty walls… all while a capped pen dries between her fingers, the bright pages of an empty notebook billow as a reminder under her limp fist.
That pretty much sums up my recent days. – B.