(Originally published by The Oregon Literary Review)
“After the fire, the fire still burns, the heart grows older but never ever learns. The memories smolder and the soul always yearns. After the fire, the fire still burns.”
– Pete Townshend
If he remembers me after these many years, it surely isn’t as an individual, but as of a type. What a sight I must have been. The mussed wavy blond hair, the scruffy beard. The black polo shirt and jeans. The brown corduroy jacket, a worn and tattered copy of “Leaves of Grass” bulging out of one side pocket, Nick Caraway’s meditation on life, passion and the American dream peering out of the other. The future rock star of American letters, radiating passion, joy, and heartbreaking charm to any lovely young thing who might be seduced. Few were.
He himself was a man of letters, a published author of three novels of good critical reputation, but little financial reward. His voice had been silent for many years and he had settled into teaching American literature and creative writing to the small group of budding young Fitzgeralds, O’Connors, Whartons, and Salingers who sailed in and out of the Humanities building of the university every year. Continue reading