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I Met a Writer
by Adam Graupe

I stood in line at Starbucks and overheard tap, tap, tap! I asked the barista, “What was that?”

She exclaimed “Oh! That is Lobert.” She pronounced it Low Bear and let out a purr, “he is a writer and is so dark and romantic.”

I turned and studied the solitary figure crouched in front of a polished black manual typewriter next to the window. Lobert was shaped like a yard rake dressed in black with a yellow beret tilted jauntily to the side. I slunk over and tried to read over his shoulder, but the folds of his scarf blocked my view of his typing. I tried to sneak away undetected, but he turned and said to me pointing at the window, “The people out there on the street inspire me.”

I looked out the window and only saw a gigantic Wal Mart across the street. I didn’t want to ask but something forced me so I said, “Where you been published?”

Lobert burst out laughing and resumed typing: tap, tap, tap!

I asked, “What’s so funny?”

Lobert chuckled and said, “ahhhh, you don’t know what it’s like to be a writer. There is much suffering. One doesn’t send out unsolicited manuscripts. One creates and then one is called to a publication.” With that he waved me away and resumed: tap, tap, tap!

I didn’t mention to Lobert that I had been published in three countries and that I did all of my writing in an unfinished basement next to a furnace and never told anyone outside my family that I wrote and if someone asked me about one of my stories I denied that I wrote it. Everything I wrote was out of compulsion and revulsion.

I know many believe a writer should look and act like Lobert. Maybe I should buy a yellow cape, a scarf and drag out my old Olivetti portable typewriter. I could go sit at the table next to Lobert and give him a little competition as I can type fast, but I like my place here next to the furnace. It’s whirring right now and a pug is snoozing on my lap. Plus, there are no other writers near me now and I think I prefer it that way.