I am totally lacking in grace when in comes to accepting compliments. I’m at a loss as to how to respond appropriately. However, I can’t let this particular compliment go unacknowledged; it would be simply unforgivable to let it go.
Will Crimson (RedBud) has written a story called ‘Hurt Me Good‘, which he says was inspired by my short piece, ‘What You Want’. Here’s an excerpt:
I turn over. â€œGive me a smoke.â€
He taps out a cigarette and lights it with his own.
â€œBring it over,â€ I say.
â€œCome get it,â€ he says.
â€œBring it over. My ass is sore.â€
He likes that. I can see it in the crook of his lips. He likes that a lot. So he brings it over. I didnâ€™t need a fucking cigarette. I just wanted to find out. Heâ€™s hard.
â€œYou donâ€™t need to live like this,â€ he says, giving me the cigarette along with the one thing no woman wants from a man: advice.
â€œThatâ€™s rich coming from you,â€ I say.
Hurt Me Good, by William Crimson
I know it would be polite to say that it’s a good piece of writing. The fact is, it IS a good piece of writing. The dialogue is natural and fractured – the way real people speak to each other. The characters are intriguingly complex and yet still opaque – making the reader want to know both of them better. It’s a particularly open text; you don’t get a lot of explanation or answers. And for me, that’s really good writing, because it asks the reader to engage, to fill in the gaps, to commit to the text: to be there, in the text.
If I had anything at all to do with inspiring this, then I’m extremely proud. I wish I’d written it myself. And I guess that’s my deepest form of compliment back.