Atlas & Alice | Issue 2 Winter 2014
As I sat there in front of that screen that stared back at me almost in accusation I wondered if it might be better for someone young and quite frankly brilliant to take on the contract project, someone new, rather than another writer who knew him from the start. I toyed with the idea of hitting reply to message and asking if Hillary might be interested in a bit of ghost writing. Here’s how I had it figured. I did not feel like the labor of it, but the benefits in terms of prestige did interest me. While the money offered had been generous for me, it could not make much of a difference in the larger scheme of things. I have a decent job with an okay salary. What really might matter, or so I thought, would be the advertisement for myself that such a publication would produce. Then there was the fact that Hillary had been offered tuition at a few of the schools, but not a single stipend for living arrangements. Quite frankly, this angered me a little. I knew she’d be as good as or better than other students in her grad program, but since she graduated from a small, indistinct institution, prejudice and condescension would greet here every step of her way. And so she who so loved writing in and of and for itself, she who had a genius of language could ghost write the thing. She’d get the money; I’d get the spin. She had some familiarity with the books in question for she had read some of them in classes I taught and others on her own. I’d be around or at least just an email address away to answer any questions that might come up, and I could provide a few anecdotes to give the thing that proper true to life human tone. Or maybe I should take on a co-writer and be more upfront about the whole thing. Or maybe I should call and back out. So I wondered. How did I get myself into this? Or maybe the prayers should have been for me. Maybe, if our places had been altered, he could have been talked into delivering the eulogy. A far-fetched thought perhaps, but who knows? And maybe that eulogy might have been just the ticket. Maybe my books might have witnessed a sudden uptick in sales during the days and nights that followed their author’s demise.
Issue 2 | Winter 2014