“You will? Really?” I know I’m the one that asked the question, but I wasn’t expecting that answer.
The man shrugs. “Sure, why not?”
This is it, this is my chance to be something. I have been stuck out on the street, scrounging around for anything that will help me make it through the day. Now, I will actually be able to sleep under the same roof multiple nights in a row, without the fear of being chased out by the angry owner.
This kid wants to follow me around like a lost puppy, and all I have to do is feed him? How much can a little kid eat, anyway? I immediately start planning everything he could help me out with; sorting all the shelves, dusting, sweeping, organizing… all I have to do is impart a little wisdom every now and then and he’ll clean the entire place!
“Uhh, do you have any stuff that you have to bring with you?” The young boy looked around, grabs a sad little sack filled with I don’t know what, and beams up at me. “Alright. Uh, follow me then.” We walk back to the house in silence. Well, I’m silent. The kid is going on and on about something, but I quickly learn to tune him out. Turns out all you have to do is nod and grunt occasionally and they can entertain themselves pretty thoroughly.
I went into this expecting some sort of life changing experience, but so far all I’ve learned is that a lot of junk can fall underneath the refrigerator before someone decides to clean it out. Not very useful when it comes to making a name for yourself.
“Um, sir? No offense, but I don’t really see how this is helping me.”
“Isn’t that the way life works though? We often don’t know what we are experiencing until after the moment passes. I once spent an entire summer taking care of this elderly woman, and I thought I hated it. Hell, I did hate it, in the beginning. But by the end I really came to appreciate not only my relationship with this woman, but also the way that human interaction can really save a life. I was the only person that visisted this woman all summer… who knows what would have happened if I had decided to ignore my mother’s prodding and had never gone. Mrs. Feinstein told me I had saved her life… I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s true. All I did was go and talk with her a couple of times a week, but it really changed her life. And in the end, it changed mine too.”
I think about this for a moment. “So… what you’re saying is that in reality it’s the interactions with people that shape who we are, and therefore how we write? If it wasn’t for the way we live, whether it’s good or bad, easy or tough, all of these things work together to form the person that we become, which impacts how and what we write.”
He nods. “That’s exactly what I’m saying.”