After trying out my second writers group then attending Lee Gutkind’s book signing on a recent Thursday night, I couldn’t have guessed what the rest of the night held. A formerly homeless man bums a cigarette from me at the #62 Hardy/Guadalupe bus stop, and we talk about the gorgeous full moon.
“That doesn’t come to ya unless ya got faith and hope,” says the bespectacled man in the baseball cap.
“True,” I say, thinking to myself, Shit, no this guy’s gonna talk about God and homelessness forever.
“You can pray to him. You can talk to him. He’ll answer ya. But what he says is gonna be much bigger than whatever you’re praying for,” he continues.
“Yep, and you have to work to make your prayers come true too.”
“Yep. You know it,” he replies and disembarks at his stop.
I think about his words. Instead of reaching for my book or listening to my headphones, I just let the moment be. Silent yet full.
There isn’t much showing for my job hunt efforts. Nor for my literary efforts. And at least once a week I get down about one or both of those elements of my life. Still, I know something’ll come along. I’ve made it through far worse than this.
Momentarily, it’s my stop. I walk a block to the apartment my friend has been kind enough to share until I get myself rooted in my repatriated life here in Arizona, sing some Melody Gardot lyrics. The smell of fresh laundry greets me as I pass a house. The site of three cats, fat and lollygagging like Puss in Boots in the last Shrek movie, makes me giggle.
My roommate and I briefly discuss our day, talk about the grocery list, and I open my email. A message awaits me:
“I am pleased to inform you that we will publish your piece Battle of Mianzi in the May issue of Eastlit.
We would also love to see any other work you have! We all liked this piece a lot.
Regards and thanks for supporting Eastlit.”
I don’t know who that man on the bus was but this post, an acknowledgement that god does honor faith, hope, and work, is dedicated to him.
It’s good to have faith.
My travel essay, “The Battle of Mianzi“, is running now in the May issue of Eastlit. It marks my second piece to be published within a year. My first, “Burqa to the Loo”, an essay about wearing hijab in Mumbai, only to be thought of as a potential terrorist, was published by Recess Magazine last June.
Tell me about your favorite publication announcement.