Drieser wasn’t so hot either

he is really a nice fellow
of good heart
but I don’t know what to do
with him:
he is bitten by over-
enthusiasm.

and I have no desire to
hurt him

he phones often.

“I’m on my novel,” he’ll
say.

“good,” I’ll
answer.

“123 pages….”

“good…”

“you know what you told
me?” he will
repeat.

“what?”

“‘never write unless you really
have to, never write until it
leaps on you…'”

“yes…”

“I’ve done that… I’m up to page
123…”

then he’ll talk about other
things, and then
a lot more about the
novel.
then it will be
over.

“was that Harry?” my wife will
ask.

“yes, it was Harry…”

a day or so will pass, I’ll drive in
from the track
and my wife will
say, “Harry phoned..”

“ah…”

“he talked about his novel…”

“123 pages…”

“135 pages…he also said
he invented a couple of women
who didn’t
exist…”

“yes, he told me and
I told him that it was
all right:
fiction…”

“he tells us both the
same things,” my wife
mentioned.

“yes…”




usually he phones in the
mornings, I only wish
he’d wait until
nightfall
but
he’s excited.

it could be a good
novel, maybe it
is, I hope so,
only
I wish he wouldn’t
talk about it
all the
time.

“I wish he wouldn’t talk
about
the novel,” I tell my
wife.

“why don’t you tell
him?”

“Christ, I can’t totally
re-make this
guy!”

“he believes in you,
tell him…”

“look, F. Scott Fitzgerald used
to read his stuff
to his woman
right after he wrote
it.
isn’t that
even worse than
talking about
it?”

“but
you said
F. Scott Fitzgerald
was the most over-rated
writer of
our time…”

“I just can’t tell Harry
to
stop talking about
his novel.”

“he’s your friend..”

“maybe he’s your friend,”
I tell her.

“but
I’m no writer…”

“for this,” I tell her,
“let us bless the
gods and everything
else.”