I missed a very important appointment today, one I really didn’t want to miss. An old friend was passing through town for two days, and we were supposed to get together in the afternoon/evening, just to talk, and then end up at the airport. She lives in Seattle, half a world away. We’re in sporadic touch, but we don’t get a chance to see each other. Both of us considered this to be a precious opportunity.
We should have known better. First I got a call—last-breath changes to a book I’d edited, which had to be done, now, for well-known mad-dog Magna Authoresse, whose radiant smile looks like a row of urinals decorated with shreds of raw meat. Can’t miss her. She also pays well. Of course, you have to pay well to get people to work on books that use exclamation points for bullets.
So we did the miracle. As the afternoon crawled by we jerry-rigged the whole slumgullion into something that would contain her very latest nuggets and still fit into the already spec’d wrappers. And all the while my friend, full of grace, waited patiently for a call that never came.
A call that died twenty times. Simply died, no voice mail, no caller ID, no—proof.
And of course the traffic was a gothic horror. Everybody going to the airport.
She left a note at her hotel desk: “Sorry it didn’t work out. Next time, OK?”