I get into an amazing amount of, ah, physical encounters for someone my size. About thirteen weeks ago, I had my shoes shined against my will. Tremendous shoeshine boy, said to me "I'm shining your shoes". "Yes you are" I said. He did give me an execellent shine though, I might add, but they were suede shoes.
If “read a lot, write a lot” is the Great Commandment— and I assure you that it is— how much writing constitutes a lot? That varies, of course, from writer to writer. One of my favorite stories on the subject— probably more myth than truth— concerns James Joyce. According to the story, a friend came to visit him one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair.
“James, what’s wrong?” the friend asked. “Is it the work?”
Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always?
“How many words did you get today?” the friend pursued.
Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): “Seven.”
“Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you!”
“Yes,” Joyce said, finally looking up. “I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in!”
~Stephen King, On Writing
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had trouble sleeping. Finally, I went to see a shrink.
”I've got problems,” I told the doc. "Every time I go to bed I think there's somebody under it. I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy.' '
“Just put yourself in my hands for one year,” he said. “Come talk to me three times a week and we should be able to get rid of those fears.' '
“How much do you charge?' '
“Eighty dollars a visit.”
”I'll sleep on it.”
Six months later, I ran into the doc at the local watering hole. “Why didn't you come to see me about those fears you were having?” he asked.
“Well,” I said, “Eighty bucks a visit three times a week for a year is an awful lot of money. The bartender cured me for $10. I was so happy to have saved all that money, I bought myself a new car!' '
“Is that so!” he said, with a bit of an attitude. “And how, may I ask, did the bartender cure you?' '
“He told me to cut the legs off the bed! Ain't nobody under there now!”
Shrink 0 Bartender 1