Sunday, April 24, 2011

T is for Tom

I can tell you about Tom. Like most of the people I know, he is a writer. Like most of the people I know, he doesn’t write much. He wrote a story once about a girl he knew in high school. He gave this story a romantic ending, not so much in that he and the girl ended up together, but in that the story ended with Tom crossing the continent to follow his art. This, of course, didn’t really happen. Tom is the sort of guy who says “know your bartender” and means “know your dealer.” He doesn’t drink very much, and he doesn’t know any bartenders. Tom lies to his parents about his religion, even though only one of them would really care. The only way to keep a secret is to not tell anybody. Tom’s favorite color is red. He works in Chicago writing dust jacket blurbs for a small press. He finds this difficult because he objects on principle to adjectives. Tom has a friend he has tried to write about, but every time he tries it sounds like he is in love with him. All those adjectives. Tom and I go a long way back. We live in different cities now. Tom and I write to each other a lot, but it isn’t the same. He hasn’t met my wife. Tom’s friend has red hair, and he and I go way back too.

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