So, here we were, almost twenty-five years later, both of us going through changes. I had finally decided to apply to a masters writing program after decades of dissembling. Brigid had always told me to write; not ‘if I really wanted to’, not ‘because I had the gift’, and not ‘when I stopped fucking around.’ No conditional baloney, no argument. She was one of those very persuasive, full-of-shit people who, despite their utter lack of grace, could bend you to their will. Without her persistence, my literary inkling would have winked out long ago.
I sat by her bedside on the room’s sole piece of movable furniture, a wooden folding chair, the chair where her Bangladeshi home health aide sat, except when she prayed by the front door. In addition to my offerings, I brought along a couple of the short essays I had banged out as an application portfolio, including an anecdote recently published in The New York Times Metropolitan Diary section about shopping for styrofoam with a nickel stuck to my forehead. I read it aloud to her. “Oh, V,” she said, “That’s fuckin’ brilliant.” I chuckled with pride and disbelief.
“So, Bridge, do you have that recommendation?”
“Yeah, it’s in my black notebook,” she said.
“All your notebooks are black.”
“Here,” she said, pulling a folded piece of paper from a black notebook. Her longhand was a fine cursive, every third word illegible.
“I may have to transcribe it onto my computer and get it notarized,” I said.
“You and your fancy-pants machines.”
it’s like a dream come true that V. – Robert V. Hansmann – has made up his mind to write. as a poet and playwright i’ve been after him for years and as a smart shy man, he’d just smile …
and now that he has taken the giant step, the world is a better place. thank you for your kindness for reading this and thank you for V., he’ll make you proud.
I slipped the thing into my inside jacket pocket.