I’d like to think we’ve developed a comfortable sort of “let’s just talk” approach to these weekly visits, CR2S comes easily, most of the time. Like over a cup of java, a bull session, a picnic (do people still?). But that’s when everything is cool and copacetic. Nobody has to delve into the future of Obamacare, Keiro or the federal budget; more likely a topic would be the Laker point guard situation, the pointy head of one. Conversation flows easily when not argumentative.
But what to do when things aren’t exactly smooth and soothing? A challenge, indeed. If I were a devoted CR2S follower, I’d gobble up every Wednesday’s twist and turn. Most of the stuff is pretty good. Original, anyway. [It’s hard sometimes to be self-deprecating. That’s when you knowingly make fun of yourself, mostly for effect and to show you’re really not a smartass. When sometimes you really are.]
Already I’m thinking about taking next week off. Like I deserve a holiday vacation. Although a journalist isn’t a postal worker – sleet and snow and all that jazz – real pros survive war, disasters, deadlines and Miley Cyrus. Well, hole in the ground, I’m not all that challenged to uphold some quaint credo about service and duty.
I’m just this simple guy trying to fulfill a weekly obligation; don’t have to but always want to. It’s called being dependable. Only problem is my eyeballs are throbbing, causing a headache that won’t stop. This obviously impacts appetite, which is lousy in normal times. Been this way now for about ten days. Not very enjoyable, that’s for sure. Couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment until Monday (today)! Kinda dumb, if you ask me. So don’t. Deep down, I have this feeling that maybe that bathroom fall I had a month or so ago had greater ramifications than just one lost molar and a couple of laughs. Maybe I should sue the NFL for a vicarious concuss.
So let’s call in the clowns. Fill up the balloons and let them fly off. Inhale the leftover helium. Why did Glenn Miller record “Perfidia”?
= * =
[Twenty-four hours have elapsed. Whether to edit, rewrite or trash are still viable options. Let’s see what happens next.]
As if tossed a life jacket, an unexpected call comes from an unknown, perky young thing who wants to know how to become a writer. I didn’t laugh. And she was dead serious. “Let’s not waste time with background and introductory stuff,” she opined, “and if you can’t help me, say so and I’ll contact someone else.”
Such brusque honesty was impressive, so without missing a beat, I asked, “And who would that be?” A warm and hearty laugh, “I have no idea,” she confessed. So we talked. For an hour. [I forget my aches and pains.] Not all that helpful or constructive, but I sure got a kick out of the rambling conversation. Especially when she cut in once with, “Mister Hiroto, remember, we’re talking about me and my future, not you and your past.” Touche!
Even now, a day later, remembering the exchange makes me smile. She wasn’t the offspring of the son/daughter of a past friend (not even a full JA) and her background didn’t exactly have a Japanese American influence. The education and desire were obviously there, in spades. At many turns in our conversation, she often admitted, “No, I’ve never heard/been told that.”
I’m no J.D. Salinger, in more ways than one: one being a writer; two being attracted to teeners. But I got lucky and hit the jackpot when I emphasized the need to write about what you know; you can’t fake it. And despite the faint heartbeat of journalism today, I commended her lofty goals and reminded of the never-ending need for writers.
Getting carried away a bit, I told her how the world can do without celebrities, athletes, politicians, taxi cab drivers and spies. But there will always be a demand for writers. Forever the feisty one, she asked: “How about mothers?”
= * =
[Another twenty-four has elapsed. Still no proofreading or thought to rewrite. Deadline looms ominously and (un)fortunately, there is no tomorrow.]
Did you know that Oscar Hammerstein II adopted two Japanese orphans? And for those who care about (or not) the USC football coaching turnover, CR2S suggests you withhold final opinions until you’ve met his spouse. The Gettysburg Address totaled 270 words. I’m going to stretch this thing out to 900 because it’s 150 years later. Did you know that 90% “own” only 1% while 40% possess the top 10%? You wouldn’t want to know how much the elite one percent controls. Finally it’s time to go see a doctor. Not a psychiatrist, yet. See you in the funny papers . . .
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.