Me and Writing

This was the summer that I think I became a writer. I was thirteen years old. I wore steel-rimmed glasses and I was a very solemn boy. Not that I was sad, but I simply was paying attention. I'd been given a typewriter by my Uncle George, when he got an electric. He gave me his old Underwood typewriter and I set it up in the basement. I had a secret place under the stairs behind a stack of sheet rock. I sat in there and wrote where my parents could not see me because they were worried, you know, that I didn't go outside. And they believed in the illusion of a balanced life, you know, you do a little bit of this, you do a little bit of that. I just wanted to do one thing. I just wanted to find things to write about.

I liked to write about tornadoes: Tornadoes, which come out of a peaceful summer day in the Midwest. And the sky's blue and then suddenly it's dark as night and this great snake-like cloud comes slithering across the landscape, smashing houses at random, destroying this one, leaving this standing. I liked that idea.

I wrote a story, a sort of autobiographical story, about a family from New York, a microbiologist and his actress wife, and their son, who looked, and walked, and talked, and thought, and felt exactly like me. I sat in the backseat and they were driving across the Midwest, and they forgot me... at a gas station. We stopped for a rest stop... and they forgot me, and they drove away. I walked up the road that they had driven and suddenly the sky turned dark and... a tornado came up and it picked me up and it carried me and dropped me, uninjured, in the yard of a sanctified Brethren family. I knocked on the door and a woman in a white satin gown holding a flaming torch came out and asked me what I wanted. And I was going to tell them that I had to leave to look for my parents and then the dog spoke to me. The dog said, "Stay." So, I stayed. But still, I missed the life of glamour that I had known on New York's exclusive Upper West Side. I love to write stories like that.
我写了一个故事,自传式的故事,说的是一个纽约家庭,家里有一个微生物学家,当演员的妻子,还有他们的儿 子--那孩子的模样和走路、说话、思考的方式简直跟我一样。我坐在汽车的后座,他们开车穿越中西部,后来他们把我忘在了一个加油站。我们停车休息,然后他 们就把我给落下了,开车走了。我沿着他们车驶去的方向走着,突然间,天空暗了下来, 龙卷风大作,风卷起我吹啊吹,毫发不伤地把我扔在一个圣教徒家的后院里。我敲敲门,一个身穿白色缎袍的女人举着一把熊熊的火炬,走出来问我想干什么。我正 想说我想去找我的爸妈,一条狗冲着我说话了:“留下来吧。”于是,我就留下了。但是,我还是很怀念在纽约高尚住宅区的好日子。我就喜欢写这样的故事。

I sat there at my Underwood typewriter, but I wished that something real would happen.

That was the summer that my cousin, Helen-Marie, came to stay with us suddenly. She was seventeen. She was four years older than I and I'd always admired her. She was lovelier than the rest of us. The rest of us had our family's looks; we had homely faces and she was pretty. She had blonde hair, a rarity in our family.

Then I wrote a story about her; about a girl who is cooking lunch at home one day and a woman in a white satin dress holding a flaming torch bursts in through the door, and it startles the girl so much that she drops the cast iron skillet on her dog and the dog bites her and she gets an incurable blood disease from this. Doctors give her two weeks to live, and then, on top of everything, a tornado comes in and it blows the roof off the house and itimpales four blades of grass in her side. And there's something on that grass that cures that blood disease. Medical science has never seen anything like it. She's cured. She comes home. And that night the dog scratches on her door, and the dog says, "Aren't you curious to know what it was on the grass that cured that blood disease?" I sort of liked the story.
于是我就写了一个关于她的故事,说的是有一天,一个女孩正在家里做午饭时,有个穿着白色缎袍的女人手里举 着熊熊的火炬从门外闯了进来,女孩吓了一大跳,把铁锅砸到了她的狗,狗咬了她一口,她从此就得了一种没法治的血液病。医生说她只能活两个星期了,这时,一 股龙卷风刮了进来,它掀掉屋顶,四片草叶子刺到她的身上。草叶子上面的什么东西就把她的血液病给治好了。医学上从来没有见过这种奇事。她痊愈了,回到了 家。那天晚上,小狗抓挠着她的房门,那狗问她说: “你难道不想知道草叶子上面是什么东西治好了你的血液病吗?”我喜欢这样的故事。