For Writing’s Sake

Late last night, I awoke, got up for a drink of water, and ran into the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut. Usually I’m not impressed by celebrity ghosts. I see the famous things they did as just part of their job. Everyone has jobs. The celebrity ghosts are somehow remembered by a lot of people for what they did at work. But Kurt Vonnegut made me sweat.

I said, “H-h-hello, Mr. Vonnegut.”

He said, “Call me Kurt.”

I said, “Okay.” I wasn’t going to do it. But I liked that he gave me permission.

I did say, “I wish I could be as good a writer as you.”

Kurt Vonnegut said, “I wish I could have been as good as Dickens. But then I met Dickens after I died. Dickens told me he wished he was as good as Shakespeare. And then Dickens met Shakespeare after he died and told him he wished he could have been as good as him. Shakespeare said he wished he’d been a tailor. I wish I’d said that…It never ends.”

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