Place of My Own

I’ve written in a lot of different places in my time.

– Dorm rooms at Emerson College

– The first apartment on Ardmore in Los Angeles, where as Paul Brindley honed his acting skills and figured out the best ways to kill zombies, I wrote the story and first drafts of An Elegy for Amelia Johnson

– A lonely studio apartment in Burbank

– Hunched over Mike Pintar’s computer after mine crashed on a hot spring week in Los Angeles, and in that one week I rewrote 75% of Amelia 

– More coffee shops and libraries (including Bates Hall, pictured above) than I could ever count

– The three-bedroom apartment over a gyro shop in Hyde Park, Chicago, where I sat facing a window and wrote my life story in prose, in order to translate it to Form of a Question

And for the past three years, I’ve been writing in an Ikea chair that rocks back and forth as needed under an Ikea lamp, balancing a MacBook Pro on my lap. I sit under artisan paper I got from a specialty store in Ann Arbor on the way back from Alex and Becky’s wedding. There’s a coaster at my feet for my water glass, or a glass of something stronger or weaker. To my left are Travis’s books, including a selected set of DC, Marvel, and the complete Sandman. To my right are my books, including two shelves of Anthony Trollope alone. There will be jazz, classical, songs from my grandfather’s record collection (thanks to the miracle of Spotify), or the Grateful Dead playing. Sometimes Travis will plop on the couch for some sports on the nearby television, or a watching of How I Met Your Mother, and these familiar comforts become my soundtrack. In this chair, I have written stories I never dreamed of writing. Better and larger stories. Stories I will soon, God willing, be sharing with you all.

This is my place. There will be more places to come which I know nothing about, and more people to share those places with me. But when the time comes to leave my Wrigleyville home, I will vacuum and swiffer out this nook now devoid of bookshelves and then look at the emptiness and know it was never empty before and never can be empty again, for universes were created within it.


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