Did I talk too much? Why was I so silent through dinner? Why did I start out feeling like I didn’t belong at the table of writers and students? Where the fuck else would I ever belong? What made me suddenly decide I did belong and got me talking and participating rather than listening quietly? Did I talk too much?
Why did I ask old questions that I didn’t care about anymore of my former grad school professor? Why did I waste the time when I had his attention? Does he care that I write all my new poems from the I fucking love science site? Did I talk too much? Which of these undergraduates are going to be writing in ten years?
Who is the woman behind me at the reading who laughs at the same funny lines in DP’s work that I do? I like her unapologetic laughs. Why do I have to sit in the front where I can’t people-watch from the back row as I usually do? Did I blush when DP read that bit about sex? Why can’t I be less pale so the blush wouldn’t show? Am I 12 or 39? Does the audience think that this is how DP and I have sex? (Cougar, don’t read the previous question. DP and I don’t have sex. We sleep with a sword between us.)
Why did I almost cry when Professor read the bit about his adult daughter? Is he a father figure? Most of my mentors or other people I look up to are women. Do all orphaned children look for father/mother figures?
How is it that every scene my former professor reads is a lesson in how to write memoir? Is this what it like to be a teacher? Am I the only one who thought his question of “when do analogies become excuses” funny? How can you write creative nonfiction like a poet and still have focus and narrative? Will I ever figure out the larger political/historical context of my own memoir? What have I been doing with my life?
Why am I writing a blog post instead of the essay that I want to send to grad school professor? Why am I not reading with DP or with Professor? At least I’m not rushing the process of writing. God, glaciers rush more than my writing sometimes.
Did I talk too much? Did Professor get lost after I lead him to State Road A instead of State Road B by mistake? Did he mean it when he wrote he admired my work and liked my company when he signed my book? How much do I need to explain the point of my new essay? Is it as good as I think it will be if I ever finish it? Where will I send it?
Why are writers so awkward and needy? How fucking lucky am I to have found someone who is so smart and such a good writer? How lucky is he to have a kick-ass copyeditor wife? Did I talk too much?