Gave away a “Lollipop.”
The donee had introduced himself to me our first day of law school. His father and my father had been in the same law school class too, and he knew I wanted to be a writer, and he wanted to be newspaperman, and neither of us wanted to be lawyers. We did not socialize much – he was already married –but since the last time we had seen each other, 1970 or ‘71, when he came to Berkeley from having just interviewed Alexander Jodorowsky in Mexico City, there had been 10 books for me and stints at the NYT, WSJ, Forbes, Time, Inc., and LA Times for him, and enough interest in each other that when he invited me to breakfast in SF, where he was attending a conference, I hopped on BART for the first time in over a decade.
Late in law school, we had learned that we – scandalously for that time and place – both smoked dope. Now, both of us stood at 80, marveling at our presence on such a stage, learned we each, as part of our exercise regimens, boxed.
In other news…
1.) The acclaim – the sound of six hands clapping, anyway – with which “A Fig in Winter” was received, has led TCJ to request my take on another work. The creator’s name is “Uncle Willie,” which is enough of a recommendation for me.
2.) The café journal takes one step forward and… Just when we seemed set to contract with a printer whose bid had substantially reduced what we expected to pay, the Editor-in-Chief revisited the question of font-size and increased it, raising our page count and, presumably, price by two-thirds. And just when this increase had been agreed to and finances resolved, the questions of ISBN numbers and distribution at book stores and through Amazon resurfaced.
When I had joined this project, my vision had lain somewhere between a samizdat and Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland: “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show.” I thought we’d print a book; sell it; throw a party with any money we made. Now I was getting the idea others imagined Best Seller Lists and Oprah invitations. Instead of sugar plums, visions of Fictitious Business Names, sales tax, partnership agreements, and ensuing litigation dance in my head.
Not only that.
Faithful readers may recall the submission, which bothered no one else but led me to editorial suggestions which caused the author to call me a “Jackass.” Now another contributor’s complaints about his submission’s treatment, which bothered no one else, led me to call out his discourteouies, causing him to decry my “B.S.” and express the wish not to hear from me again. (I should have known he was touchy since he had stormed out of a pandemic-era café-regulars-only Zoom for some offense of mine, never to return.)
Alas and alack. The upshot to all this is I fear I am in for a down-grading when it comes to “Plays well with others.”
Gave away a “Lollipop.”