It’s 11:11 and I can write anything I like – I can wish upon the stars that whirl above October.
They always ask us what we could be if we could be anything we like. Well that’s kind of hard I think. But if you say it like this, like, “What would you be if you could be the best at anything in the world?” Then I should be able to answer with a smile – I’d like to be the speech writer for the president of the United States of America. The voice of POTUS. When tragedy fell, I would rouse the nation up and bolster their spirits. When victory was a crown about our heads, I wouldn’t let him beat his chest. With my words in his mouth, the leader would be the picture of dignity on the wall of diplomacy. There would be alliterations and prose that the editors would try to cross out, but I wouldn’t let them. And the jokes would be good; we’d have the opposition laughing with us.
Toby Ziegler thought there were probably only nine people alive who were good enough to write for the president. I can see the stars, but I don’t have a fancy telescope. So I suppose I’d like to write for someone, even if you don’t stand up when they walk in the room. Because at the end of the day, I’ve always been more the speech writer than the orator. Someone told me once that talking to me is very different than reading me, and I’ve spent the last four years trying to figure out if that was a complement. The last time I stood behind a podium it went alright until my vocal chords went bone dry and stopped forming words. It took me a few seconds to draw enough spittle out of my throat to get everything lubricated again. That never happens behind a keyboard.
Next week I’m scheduled to talk to someone named Taylor about where I go from here: what degree I’m gonna get and how much it’ll cost me. While I was giving plasma today I talked to a guy who’s out a hundred and fifty grand for his bachelor’s. Hopefully my Taylor is better than his. I hope that in twenty years things are somewhat the same as they are now. I hope I can still drive the dog down to the lake and that flowers still grow down the sides of the road. And I hope I can play softball, and stay up late reading and writing, and that they’ll still stock trout in the river. I hope I have friends like I do now. And I reckon there’ll be other things too, things “too wonderful for me to know.”
But tonight it’s 11:11 and I can write anything I like, under the stars that whirl above October.
*photo by Mike Dienner (probably)