I’m in the office this afternoon, having snarfed the last of the garlic bagels I bought in Real City over the weekend as an afternoon snack. The campus was fairly busy today, welcoming a chunk of this fall’s incoming freshpeeps. I didn’t have any responsibilities this time, as we’ve dropped the placement test we used to have, but I had some grading to do, so I came over anyway. While waiting for a coffee, I met one of the incoming kids and her mom. The student’s nametag said that she plans to major in bio, and I asked if she is pre-med. Indeed she is, and I asked if she has a specialty in mind.
“I want to be a medical examiner,” she said.
“Cool! I write crime fiction, and I know some folks who have worked in the morgue and coroner’s office here in town. When you get on campus for real, swing by — we need to talk!”
I wonder if she’s read Patricia Cornwell.
Checking my e-mail this morning, I had new mail from Peter Carlaftes, publisher at Three Rooms Press. They had published El Bee’s Dark City Lights antho, which contains my short story “Bowery Station, 3:15 A.M.” It turns out that a film student in California was interested in doing a film version of the story as a class project, and wanted my permission to make the movie for not-for-profit use (film festivals and such.)
I told the student that as long as I was credited and got a copy of the finished film, I was fine with that — as an educator, I’m glad to help out students, even if they aren’t mine. This is actually the third time that students have done versions of stories of mine. Unfortunately, I never got a copy of the first one (made in my Ball State days), but the second one got me an entry at the IMdB, so that’s pretty cool.
[SIDE NOTE: I have entries at IMdB and the All Music Guide. As best I can tell, that puts me a Wikipedia entry away from the Triple Crown of Dubious Pop Cultural Relevance. End of side note.]
Anyway, I have to admit that it’s a kick to think that the work I do not only entertains readers, but may even inspire artists in other media from time to time. It’s good to know that I’m not shouting down a well.
By this time next week, I’ll probably be in (or at least approaching) Lexington, KY, for my friend James’s memorial. I’ll be reading a poem, just as I did for his late wife Amy three years ago. I hope I can make it through more gracefully this time.
Of course, any of us who have been around for a while have had the experience of knowing people we value, but only seeing them on these dismal occasions. It’s a cliche, but a synonym for cliche is truism after all. Because I met these friends at a school I left without graduating, it’s as close to a class reunion as I’m likely to get.
[SIDE NOTE: I earned my B.A. from a non-traditional program that specialized (and specializes) in remote learning. Occasionally it amuses me to think of that school having class reunions attended by people who have never met before, with no idea about any of their classmates. End of side note.]
I will be happy to see old friends, even in unpleasant circumstances, and I suppose that’s a balance of sorts to the unpleasant business at hand. Even as we say goodbye to one of ours, we can also take the opportunity to say hello to one another again.
I’ll wrap this one up with an artist I discovered earlier this week. Nick 13 (ne Kearney Nick Jones) first came to public attention fronting San Diego psychobilly band Tiger Army. He’s done several albums with the group, but he also put out a solo album in 2011, and that’s what I’ve been listening to for the past couple of days. This track was released as a video in 2013, but I’m just now catching up to it, and I think it sounds good back to back with artists like the Ruen Brothers and Chris Isaak. So check it out: This is “Nighttime Sky.”
(And yes, I know the line at the end of the chorus should be “For you and me.” I still like it.) See you soon!