For reasons I won't disclose, I found myself in a dive bar last Saturday afternoon. The bartender starts making small talk which escalates to book talk. He tells me he's an avid reader and when asked about his favorite authors he rattles off the heavy hitters: Dickens, Joyce, Orwell,Tolstoy, etc. The other patrons at the bar roll their eyes as he swears that 1984 is the best book ever written.
I'm halfway through my drink (and I should know better than to order wine in a dive bar) and he starts telling me about his own writing. Three novels in fact. One is a historical saga set in Spain. One is something that made me glaze over about five minutes into it and I never did get the full synopsis of the third book. Now the thing I found so curious is that he claims he writing three novels and yet he hasn't actually written them. Not a word. "I've got it all in my head," he tells me. "I can tell you everything that happens." I don't bother telling him that he already has.
Now keep in mind, he has no idea that I'm a writer. As in a writer who actually writes--every day. That was unimportant, he just wants to tell his story while I drink his bad wine. I ask what he's waiting for in terms of physically writing his masterpiece and he says he's just so busy but he knows that as soon as he has the time, he can just sit down and write it out because yeah, he's got it all inside his head.
You gotta love this guy. He reminds me of the guy who causally asks what you do and then follows it up with "I'm gonna write a book someday." Oh really? Would you tell a neurosurgeon you'd like to do a little brain surgery some day? (Sorry, I'll save that for another blog!)
Now don't get me wrong--I'm all for the underdog and hate to be a naysayer but I'll bet good money that we'll never see this bartender's magnum opus. Another thing I'll bet good on money on--I'll never again order a glass of wine in a dive bar!