One year out of college I was literally thanking the Academy. I got up on that stage and dedicated my award to my recently passed father then went back to my life in Philly. I’ve been working every moment since to get back there.
Maybe I needed the life experience to grow as a writer. After all, as Holden Caulfield observed, writing is not a just knowing where to put the commas. I traveled. Spent three years in Costa Rica teaching English and translating. But, perhaps in a “pura vida” backlash, when I decided to come home, I did so with hardened intent.
I left my husband. Even moved in with Gertrude and Claudius for a time. I got a temp job where I froze in a dusty receiving office in a drug-infested North Philly neighborhood. But I finished a new screenplay. A revenge story. And it’s done well.
I’ve got two screenplays in the works right now. I still live in a bug-ridden, third floor walk-up apartment on one of South Philly‘s louder corners. I keep my dog, plants, books, music, movies and a handsome marine about me like insulation. And often think of a story I heard about my man J. Caesar. His dad died when he was young. Though he came from a good family, they weren’t rich. So he was always in debt as well.
Anyway, on his 32nd birthday, he was stationed in some mud hole in Spain, without prospect of even seeing Rome again, and he wept. He wept because Alexander had conquered the world by his age. He contemplated a good Roman end to it all. Twenty years later he had Gaul under his boot and was on his way to the world’s first, and most famous, point of no return by a stream called Rubicon. His life and death would change the world.
I’m not out for conquest and power, nor do I think the history of the world will hinge on my stay here, but I like the story. There’s a point in there somewhere. Alea iacta esto.