Changing of Imagination

Yesterday night there's a girl who called me at almost in the middle of the night. I've known her before, but quite surprised to get a call. I was just awake from my nap but she didn't really hesitate to talk. We were shooting the craps for a while and out of nowhere, she then asked me if she could pay me to be her writing mentor. 

"Teach me how to write, but don't be too expensive," she said. 

She is the girl that sent me an email back in 2011 when she was a senior high school student. She confessed that she read one of my books (Halo, I'm In A Novel) when she was still in junior high. Amidst the lovey-dovey teenlit storming the bookstores, she found my book refreshing and different, it spoke to her a lot because it was dark. It was a lovely email. She blatantly said that I'm cool but that's because of my writing only. As a person, probably I'm not so. I love her honesty. We met a couple times after that when she moved to Jakarta.

Anyway, I was challenged by her request. I knew she's a good writer, probably better than me. I've read how flowy her writing is on her blog. She's just lack of motivation and writing a novel needs tremendous perseverance. 

I remember looking for a mentor or someone to cheer me up or just provide me with a clue in what I'm doing for years but never got one. So, when she asked me, I just said yes without hesitation. She doesn't need to pay me, I said. Unless short story she writes during her talking with me is published in a newspaper or magazine somewhere. Just a couple of bucks that'd be fine.

She's excited, I told her to call me master just to make fun of myself.  She can also call me senpai but certainly not Mas, I don't like to be called Mas. I then sent her some writing prompt and she went back with couple genius results in a blink of an eye. We started with the premise. I was amazed. She asked me, "is it true that there is any technique in writing? like the one you told me." Well, if you go to university and took creative writing as your major, they would certainly teach you these things. It has always been my dream to go to university and get an MFA. I want to properly learn how to write. 

I had that memory when I was a waiter on a cruise ship, and an old lady asked me what I like to do in my spare time if I'm not waiting tables. I said probably writing, it keeps me sane. She asked to show her my short story. So I did. After finished reading it, she hugged me long and told me, "You can write, you should go to university, you will like it..." 

I will like it yes ma'am and I can certainly go to uni, but I wouldn't be able to pay for it. Haha. 

I've always pictured myself died alone as a lonely freak, probably gone crazy before it. Completely misunderstood and full of anger.

But now I have another imagination, probably I could be fat and old and has a small house somewhere. And I would say yes to a small circle of aspiring writers who want to come every Thursday night to share their writing and learn something from me. They should pay 15$ per visit and bring some drinks so we could have a small party afterwards. It would happen in my dining room. I will have a square wooden table. I think that'd be nice. I'd love that. They'd secretly said that I'm not a good of a writer anymore and maybe I'm a fake old fart but they like coming to talk about their writing. They'd eventually become a small circle of friends, and I would watch some of my mentees succeeded and I'd be jealous but proud at the same time. That'd be very lovely.

©Keanuril Basreeves