I have an awesome editor named Laurie Mansfield, who bought me a copy of “The Fiddler in the Subway” by Gene Weingarten earlier this week. It arrived today at about 9 a.m., and after stumbling down to my apartment foyer and answering the door in my boxers, I started reading the introduction.
“I was drunk the night I learned to write,” it begins.
I hope I’m not the only one who finds this relatable.
Weingarten goes on to talk about a story he was working on for The Detroit Free Press – one about the mismanagement of a sewage treatment plant. In a tequila-induced stupor, he tacked out a lede on his typerwriter.
“Every day, liquid sewage – three million tons of it from starting points all across metro Detroit – roars through subterranean channels into a collecting point five miles down the road from the Renaissance Center on West Jefferson. Then it hits the fan.”
Hilarious – or at least I think so. I don’t know what it’s going to take for me to learn how to write like this or feel confident enough to do it, but I’m still holding out hope that one day, some loser kid is going to be sitting in his apartment, still in his boxers on a Saturday, blogging about some story that I wrote about poop. We can only hope.
I think it’s appropriate to end on this quote that Weingarten attributes to Mark Twain, Eudora Welty, Neil Simon, Joan Didion and Ernest Hemingway.
“I hate writing. I love having written.”