i wrote because my mom encouraged me

i wrote because i had a sports illustrated subscription

i read both papers every day in the library at school

not because  i was smart – if i was smart i would have read my homework.

i read them because of mike royko and because sports on tv was pretty much nonexistent.

i wrote because when i sent little stories to the girls,

they smiled and

took my hand and

i wrote because there was a typewriter in the house.

when i was little a fancy car rolled past my house and stopped.

a man got out and said tony pierce?

i was 13.

i said jd salinger?

he said, here is the secret to writing,

it’s called the baseball hat.

i said, n word please.

he said, no, this is a magical one.

i said i will accept it but i would prefer one someday that will match all the Cubs crap i wear all the time.

he said im sorry thats not how it works

and tossed me a weird green one.

i haven’t washed my hands since.