This Writing Life (con.)

When I begsn, the cartoonist was eager to be profiled.
But there was a delay with the magazine that was to publish it. Like three years, so far, and counting.
And when I wanted to publish it elsewhere, the editor said, “You can’t.”
And I was, “Huh? We don’t have a contract. You haven’t paid me anything.”
So he backed off, and another magazine grabbed it.
But by then the cartoonist seemed to have lost interest. At least he didn’t respond to e-mails from me or the new editor asking for art to illustrate the article.
We decided on “fair use.” I took a package – two books, two comix – and a poster inside a tube – to the USPO to send the art director outside Vancouver (WA).
The clerk looked in her magazine. “This address does not exist.”
I e-mailed the A.D. He confirmed his address. In fact, he said he was sitting in it.
I went for “Priority.” Two-day delivery.
Eleven days later, no one had it. The tracking number said, “Unable to deliver.”
I went back to the post office. Another clerk looked in his machine. “Unable to deliver,” he said.
“Well, why hasn’t it come back to me?” I said, figuring to give Fed Ex a shot.
“Sometimes the return takes a long time,” he said. He gave me an 800-number. It would connect me to the branch for the A.D.’s zip code. “They can make sure it’s not lying around there someplacde.”
Your tax dollars at work, I thought.
Meanwhile, we grabbed images off the internet.