Thursday, December 2, 2010

letter to the military man sitting at my table last night

dear mr. military-man-who-dresses-in-his-fatigues-at-starbucks-cafe-and-asks-to-share-a-table-with-me:

although i was too polite to tell you to go sit somewhere else, i worked hard all day to fit these two interrupted hours of writing time into my schedule before meeting my writer's group. i agreed to have you share a table with me, not talk nonstop for two hours.

contrary to what you thought, i would venture to guess that the young adult book genre contains thousands of stories that are brilliantly written and not about vampires.

everyone has story ideas. thinking of ideas is not the difficult part of writing that "makes you rich". the work is the writing. so no, i don't think i will write your idea like you suggested and "make millions" with you.

i did not really care that you have been in the military for 13 years and are taking a nuclear physics class and can drink 4 pots of coffee a day and still "sleep like a baby".

nor did i want to know about the black lesbian couple or the sexual fantasies that the men serving in your unit in iraq had about them.

also, i really didn't want to hear about the cross dresser in your unit who got beat up but was a "sharp shooting sniper".

it was good to hear that you would support local authors, but you'll have to forgive me for not giving you my full name. you scared me just a little bit.

and just so you know, i'm pretty sure you won't find rand mcnally in the list of "big publishers" for novels. so no, i won't be contacting them when my book is finished, unless i do some drastic editing to my medieval fairy tale and add in a lot of racy driving directions.

remember when you said: "it looked like you were really involved in your writing a few seconds ago, so you probably just missed my eyes drooping and my head nodding."? well, those "few seconds" were the only writing i got done with you at my table. i was trying to give you a subtle hint, but i guess you didn't quite catch on.

so of course, i have no choice but to mock you publicly on my blog. sorry about that. because i really do think you are a hero in some ways.

just not last night.



  1. I was seriously BLOWN AWAY by that guy last night! It's UNREAL sometimes... one of those "stranger than fiction" moments. We MUST work him into a story somehow. I was fate!

  2. I think you should write a realistic story about that encounter. It would be funny. But, you don't have to. ;)

    What kind of lap top are you using?

  3. Eeeesh. I'm so so sorry.

    He probably thought he was so smooth. I hate it when creepy guys want to know your name and you won't tell them and then you feel like a paranoid freak, but seriously you don't want to tell them. That happened to me once.

    Maybe next time you should write in the non-fiction section of your library or something. Seriously. Two hours? I probably would have got up and left.

  4. Ahh, the joys of being polite.

  5. That is funny and frustrating all at the same time.

  6. i bet the four pots of coffee would have made him fairly unbearable to sit near for reasons more putrid than his uninvited chattiness.

  7. Lol...your tital made me laugh right away. Loved it.

  8. Oh, that is so sad - for you. How could that guy be so oblivious to even marginally appropriate social behavior? Sorry you had to deal with that. If you ever do manage to work that into a story, it would be strangely fantastic. But don't tell him, he might demand royalties.

  9. people are awesome. if i drank 4 pots of coffee, i'm certain i wouldn't sleep for a week.

  10. I was preparing myself for one of your thoughtful posts on the service these men and women are doing for our country. Yeah, he won't be on any posters. He really shared all of that info with a stranger? Creepy...