Friday, September 12, 2008

Drink, Drink

I believe that as you drink your identity's revealed. So here's a test for all self-abusing writers: If you want to know whether you're really made to swallow and re-swallow the description of a tree--or even to look at a tree and wonder, "What kind of tree is that?"--then get drunk. If you get boisterous, if you start joking about the size and angle of your friend's nose, then you may be a writer. If you claw back at fun, if you stop yourself from being fun, then you are a writer. And you ought to sit down and get to 160,000 words, because you have no choice, you'll never escape it, and thin women like writers.

Last night, while drinking will fellow Canadian academics, I wondered what it would've been like if Derek Walcott had risen from the grave (I know he's not dead), and observed our table.

Walcott: Where's my money?

And I think that would've been about it.

One time I was in a bar and Michael Redhill walked in with Christian Bok and Stephen Cain following not-too-far behind. "Great," I thought. "Entertainment." So I pulled over my chair and started to listen.

Cain: "I've just not been pleased with the quality of kimchi in Mississauga."

Redhill: "No, no. It's no good."

Bok: "I can't find a good mirror."

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