a schmoe at words

In response to the Assignment prompt at WritingThe200


When the average schmoe on the street announces that they do their own taxes, I doubt they are bombarded with tomes of IRS code rulings from well-wishers. Yet confessing that I’ve been writing very short stories has made me the recipient of multiple gifts of Infinite Jest, stacked neatly by my bed, soaking up sun and dander from resident cat attracted to high places.

I blame my therapist for the collection. At our annual catch up visit, she cheerfully said my assignment for the next meeting was to ‘take the plunge, start submitting and calling yourself a writer!’ For a while there I was convinced she did this to ensure that I would visit more frequently due to rejection related depression.

At least I haven’t yet received a reply saying ‘you, sir, are not a writer, and I encourage you to refrain from further submissions.’ My therapist supposedly has such a letter, which she says stung at the time, but which she now takes pride in, both as proof that she tried, and for having personalized signed correspondence on New Yorker letterhead.

So I plug along, accumulating anecdotes for our next session, proof I’m still here, working my short form.


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