It was about twelve years ago now

PepperMouseIt was about twelve years ago now.

I was sitting in the café of a train station in Bristol staring out the window, ignoring the scalding hot cup of tea on the counter in front of me. I was already twenty minutes late to meet someone in the car park. They’d sent me a text message to say they’d arrived, but I ignored it. I couldn’t leave yet.

I couldn’t leave because I’d been crying. 

My eyes were red and puffy, and — frankly — I was in a state of shock. I can count on one hand the times I’ve cried as an adult, but on this occasion I hadn’t just received bad news of a loved one’s illness or worse. No, I’d just finished reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes for the first time.

I can’t say that it was a life changing event. It didn’t make me decide to be a writer. I didn’t quit my job. But it was still one of the most defining moments of my adult life, and one of my most vivid memories.

The power of the story. The ability of the writer to move people. To capture a readers focus so intently that they are moved to tears. It was

I dont know the words.

I like stories. I like to tell them and I like to hear them. Im not a man who has a favorite song or food or movie. My mind changes too offen for that. But flowers is my absolute favrite book. it was eye opening. an educashun.

I dont no if i will ever rite something that will move a person like flowers moved me. The best i can hop for is to rite a story that people want to read. i will keep trying. i will reread flowers and kep ritin stories and hope that they keep gettin beter.

i will try reely hard and be as gud as i can.

Thank you, Daniel. May you rest in peace.



Photo by Angela Della Torre under CC licence
The mouse’s name is “Pepper”, BTW.

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