beckycochrane [userpic]

Being a writer = being at least a little crazy

March 19th, 2011 (02:29 am)

The other night I was proofing a cookbook for someone--into the wee hours of the morning--and it was making me so hungry. Not hungry for any of the recipes in the cookbook, but for a specific meal from a specific place.

It was about thirty years ago. Lynne was managing a restaurant and going to school, and I was working three jobs. Yeah, that's right. We were five. Girls have to grow up fast in small Southern towns. Shut up.

Basically, we never slept. Sometimes late at night we'd go to a little all-night diner because they had the best freaking hamburgers and French fries. I've never tasted any others that came close to either. The diner was managed by this guy who vanished one night. Rumor had it that he was connected to some criminal types and had skipped town because he was in trouble with them.

A year or so later, both Lynne and I had moved--she to Texas, me to a different city in Alabama--and I went to a sort-of dive restaurant with a guy I was dating. Who should be there--not managing, but waiting tables--but Mr. Crime Guy. My paranoid switch got flipped to overdrive. I was sure he knew I recognized him and he was going to snuff me so I couldn't tell the bad guys where he was. I demanded of my date that we leave IMMEDIATELY, and then I wouldn't just drive back to my place. We had to take this complicated, circuitous route so I could be sure we weren't being followed.

A few months later I found out I had a thyroid disease, and my doctor asked if I'd been having panic attacks, imagining myself in dangerous situations, apparently a common symptom of my illness.

I thought it was just part of being a writer.

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