AG: …and have been published or are forthcoming in ROAPE, Mouthwagon, and Came-Tree.
AL: So you’re a freelance writer? Is that how you pay the bills?
AG: Periodicals publish my writing, yes, but I’m not a freelancer. I’m a writer.
AL: Fine, right. OK. But how do you make money?
AG: I don’t, really. I’ve been living off my savings. Raising my son.
AL: That sounds nice…
AG: It is. I started a pomegranate orchard in my yard.
AL: So money’s not a problem?
AG: Not right now, anyway. I might start volunteering with this political pain intellectual suffering charity thing soon
AL: But that’s volunteer, so they won’t be paying you?
AG: Right. I guess that won’t make any money. But it’ll take time, so the day won’t be quite so empty…
AL: Lots of people don’t have that luxury. They have these awesome sprawling narratives inside them, but they have to work to pay the
AG: Yeah, I know, I realize that it’s a luxury not to have to work and to get to write about fictional people all day. What’s your point?
AL: I guess… I just want you to know… that I wish some of those people… the writers who have to waste their days answering customer service emails, while you grow pomegranates and write stupid poems about pomegranates that are published in
AG: …periodicals including Roiphe’s Bones, College Radio Fiction, AGNI…
AL: … I wish those people who have no choice but to struggle and waste their time on unsatisfying labor could have even a few minutes with you in a dark room with a whiffle-ball bat, making you feel extremely uncomfortable. It wouldn’t take much. That’d be justice, by my lights
AG: Damn your lights. I may not need to answer customer service emails all day but when I write my poems, some of which have explicitly taken up as their subject the suffering of the customer service representative, I am forced to experience the pain and the boredom and the angst and everything that the CSR feels. So being a writer isn’t any better than being a CSR, at least as long as you’re writing about the great struggles of modernity — the struggle of the Customer Service Representative — which I am. Which I hope I am. Maybe I should write about horny teens in paradise. It might be more fun…
AL: Can I have another one of those…
AG: They’re called “Flynt Martinis.” Help yourself.