I don’t know why I asked to foster-care this guy, Butt Glue. I think I was hoping that I could make myself believe he might inspire me to make the revisions necessary to pass off as though a critique partner had done it. I wasn’t getting anywhere and everyone believed so much in him. (See, my sentences are too long.)

After  a rough week of trying not to personally implode, or better yet, not to blow up the stockade, I was willing to try anything. Hence, this “faker” whose bottle contents have not diminished one iota. After reading the praises written before mine, how could this not work? After transporting him home I placed him on my desk and inspected the contents.

I thought, Okay. He speaks right? Well here goes. “Hi, little man. Can you look over my MS and tell me what’s lacking?”

Silence. Try again.

“I know you’re a winner, and you’ve seen enough MS to fill a library….”

No response. One more try then I’m taking a break, leaving this hick town and going north to New York for a breather.

Darned if the thing didn’t jump off my desk squealing, “Greenwich Village! Greenwich Village! Let’s go!”

Da… Sam! Now I’m really losing it! “I meant New Jersey, man. You phony little dude.”

“Yeah! Yeah! Varrick Street, Washington Square, the AIA Center for Architecture! Com’on, you’ve been there. I want to go listen to Miles Davis, see Whoopi Goldberg before she was Whoopi Goldberg! Com’on please! I’ll behave… We can schmooze over a couple of ‘New York Sliders’, then go to the Blue Note and listen to Jazz!”

So I packed my over-nighter and off we went in my Jeep. Up Interstate 95 North, through sweet New Jersey, over Rt. 21, through the Holland Tunnel, Mott Street West, past old brownstones turned pizza parlors, and craft shops, or what’s left of them. Wonder of wonders we found a parking spot between two cars with New York plates. Then I slipped old Butt Glue into my knapsack and we walked over to Washington Park under the arch and wandered over by the Chess players to a free table.

I removed him from my bag and placed him atop the table, took out a borrowed lap top and he began to dictate a few ideas: “Look at the length of the chapters. They need to match… you have too many sub-plots…” I listened to the little “bugger” and got up only to have a Greek Salad at Dimitrius’. The dude had to go use the Ladies’ Room. Do you believe it?

After several chapters were revised, we went over to the Hudson Terrace and listened to music for the remainder of our evening. Writing and Jazz… Butt Glue and I. We make a terrific team.

** Contributed by Toni S. Harris

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