When I’m a Famous Writer
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When I'm a famous writer...

When I’m a famous writer, I will hold forth in front of a crowd of eager students and NPR listeners, maybe at a university or a small, respected, independent bookstore. I will be wearing tweed. My receded silver hair will make me look distinguished.

I’ll read from my latest novel about a septuagenarian professor who has an affair with a much younger student who is also a model. The audience will clap for the novel’s unique blend of wry, world weary humor and rawness. Though, frankly, it won’t be as good as my earlier stuff.

I will answer questions like “where do you get your ideas?” with a superior smirk. Read a lot and write a lot I’ll say as I wink at the moderator, being the bigger man for not scoffing at such a mundane question.

I’ll talk about my stints in rehab and my divorces but I’ll underplay the pain because I’m so thankful to be on the other side. My oldest son’s scathing portrait of me in his thinly veiled novel? Well, I hope that one day we can speak again and put it behind us.

Is there any resemblance to the student character in my latest novel and my young wife Svetlana? No, they’re very different people but I can see how one might make that mistake.

I’ll sign books and my hands will hurt by the end and I’ll resent the people who are too obsequious almost as much as the ones who aren’t obsequious enough. I’ll thank the moderator Kevin who will say “it’s Ken” and then I’ll leave.

Later, during a bitter fight in which I confront my much younger wife over her repeated infidelities, I’ll have a heart attack and die in my perfectly decorated brownstone.

The Times will say my last book was a disappointment.

It’s gonna be kick-ass.

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