What happens if you fall in love with a writer?
Lots of things might happen. That’s the thing about writers: they’re unpredictable. They might bring you eggs in bed for breakfast, or they might ignore you for days. They might bring you eggs in bed at three in the morning. They might wake you up for sex at three in the morning. They might make love to you at four in the afternoon. They might not sleep at all. They might sleep right through the alarm and forget to get you up for work. They might call you home from work to kill a spider. They might refuse to speak to you after finding out you’ve never seen To Kill A Mockingbird. They might spend the last of the rent money on five kinds of soap. They might sell your textbooks for cash halfway through the semester. They might leave you love notes in your pockets. It’s an unpredictable life.
But what happens if a writer falls in love with you?
This is a little more predictable. You will find your hemp necklace with the glass mushroom pendant around the neck of someone at a bus stop in a short story. Your favourite shoes will mysteriously disappear, and show up in a poem. The watch you always wear, the watch you own but never wear, the fact that you’ve never worn a watch: they suddenly belong to characters that you’ve never known, but that are somehow you. They’re not you; they’re someone else entirely, but they toss their hair like you do, they use the same colloquialisms as you use, they scratch their nose when they lie like you do. Sometimes they will be narrators; othertimes protagonists, othertimes antagonists. They might be nobodies, an unimportant, static prop. This might amuse you at first. They might confuse you. You might be bewildered when books turn into mirrors. You might try to see yourself how your beloved writer sees you when you read a poem about someone who has your middle name or prose about someone who has never seen To Kill A Mockingbird. These works, they will scatter into the wind. You will wonder if you’re wandering through the pages of some story you’ve never even read. There’s no way to know, and no way to erase it. Even if you leave, a part of you will always be left behind.
If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.