In the middle of an argument, Conor tossed this Molotov:
“Do you know how much it bugs me, that you are wasting all this time, working a job you hate and taking care of me? That you’ve never written that book that you told me about. Or any of the books that you should have? And all that’s in you, frustrated and empty, you keep pushing out at me, and I’m never going to be that good.”
In truth, that’s a paraphrase, because I didn’t rush anywhere to write it down while the words still were phosphorous. I didn’t write it down, because I don’t. Ever. And my younger son, my doppelganger boy, destroyed me in that moment.
My unwritten works.
Here is a secret. In our basement, in a box that I will probably burn someday, is a letter from an editor from a publishing house dated 1988. I had written one good story, and he had read it. Did I have something longer he could look at? I had fled the MFA program, leaving a wake of work undone and my finished divorce. I had nothing to send.
The silent decades? No writing. A life. And some regret.