the do-gooder

Once there was a man who asked another man to read my writing. This second man was a faculty member in the writing department at the college I was working at, and apparently a famous poet. The first man really thought he was doing me a favor, in the way men often think they are doing you a favor, especially when you are 23 years old and a female. I gave the second man some of my work, and he read it, and marked the grammar mistakes I made, especially the places where I screwed up the difference between “lie” and “lay,” and said that I could never submit a manuscript if I didn’t know the difference and correct it. Right now, all I can remember is that when he handed me the envelope back, he said, “Well, you’re definitely a writer,” which at the time, I think I felt pleased by, because at the time I really needed someone to assure me that I was the thing I thought I was. I never looked at any of his comments, which I still think was for the best.


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