Hey, gang! Welcome to EP 05 of my podcast, “Something That I Wrote.”
The fifth. The fifth! That’s halfway to ten! Soon I’m gonna have to count them with the fingers of both hands! We’re getting serious here, folks. We’re really in it. I even had to get my podcasting partner-in-crime, Steve, the technological savant himself, to add more space to the homepage. I remember way back when we first started this project, and we looked at the screen with twinkles in our eyes, and we said, “Boy, oh boy – can you imagine when all four of these squares get filled with actual episodes?” And here we are now, getting ready for four more. Boy, oh boy, oh boy.
Making it this far meant Steve had some special website work to do, but it meant I had some special work to do, too. Cause this brings us to an interesting point in the life of my sweet, young podcast. I always knew I’d start with “Serena.” Then I knew I could pick pretty much anything for EP 02, so I went with “Skip Day.” It was as good a second episode as anything else I had. And I knew the stories from Niagara would follow, and that they’d go hand-in-hand, like lovers on a beach, and so, they did. But I don’t necessarily know what should come next. I know that I’ve got four new slots on that homepage, and I know I’ve gotta fill them, but I don’t quite know what with. I have to stare towards the future with vague uncertainty and doubt. I don’t know what to do next. (I’m talking with regards to the podcast, but it’s sure seeming like a metaphor for myself.)
It’s an overwhelming and confusing state to be in. But there’s something delightfully freeing about it, too. I can write anything I want. I can write anything at all.
So I sat down with my pen and some paper and I stared at the blank sheet for a whole day. Then I went home, and my Ma asked what I did all afternoon. “Wrote,” I said, and I sincerely meant it. But I knew I needed to start being tangibly productive (for once), and so the next day, I sat down again, with my pen and some paper, and a gritty determination (still not sure where I found it) to write something different. I like writing about me and I like writing about you (that’s become far-too-clear, hasn’t it?) but I thought, for EP 05, I’d try something else.
That’s when I remembered a request I had from my Aunt Tracy. She was one of the most loyal listeners of the First Four. She has always offered kind words and enthusiasm and support. And so I carefully considered her request when she told me she’d like to hear a story about a character closer to her own age. I tend to write about people who are a lot like me, and so, they’re often around my age. I can’t help it. And most the time, when someone tells me what I should write about, I nod and I smile and I never think about what they’ve suggested ever again. But since Aunt Tracy’s been such a devoted audience member, I thought about it, for her. And I started to think it could be a fun challenge.
So I came up with a character who wasn’t anything like me. It was a bit tricky, at first, but I got there. I like that about this episode. I like that I met this fellow I hadn’t expected to. I think we’ll be good friends now, even if we don’t keep in touch. I like this episode, too, cause I wrote it so recently. I just finished it the other day. The ink is still drying. That’s a neat thing about this project. I can write something on Tuesday and have it to you by Sunday at midnight. If I’d written this same story thirty years ago, the only way you’d be able to read it is if I got to you and stuck a manuscript in your hands. But the times they are a-changing, man. Just like Bob Dylan said. Now I can write right to you. What a wonderful thing. Give the anarchist a cigarette! I know I’m talking nonsense, but it’s early, and I haven’t had my coffee yet, so forgive me. Just always remember this: the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. But we’ll talk about that more a bit later.
I’d like to introduce you to this new friend of mine now. His name’s Tony DiFrancesco. I like him a lot. It’s really been nice getting to know him. I wanted to see if I was capable of getting people to connect with such a made-up character. I probably wanted to see if I was capable of connecting with him, too. I know I did, and I hope you do, too. I hope so, and sometimes, that is the only thing you can do. Or at least, that’s what Tony taught me.