March 11th, 2010 - Ernest Hadley
I was fifty-six years old for Chrissakes. I was supposed to know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Hell, I was supposed to have grown up by then and by all outward appearances I had. But you know what “they” say even if you don’t know who “they” are.
I sat in a conference room wearing my lawyer’s uniform—dark suit, freshly dry-cleaned shirt, tie, shined shoes—a yellow legal pad and pen sitting neatly on the table before me, not that I ever took many notes. And no, I don’t have an eidetic memory; it’s just my handwriting is so abysmal I can seldom read my notes anyway. That’s what happens when righthanders teach lefties to write. At least that’s always been my excuse.
But I digress, and maybe that’s what happened. I really don’t know. All I know is that if not for digressions I’d probably be retired now and playing golf. That’s okay, too, because I hate golf and I’m not very good at it. Of course, I might hate it because I’m not very good at it but that just goes back to the chicken and the egg, both of which I like. It strikes me, though, that driving ranges would be a lot more fun if they used eggs instead of golf balls and while that may be good for cholesterol counts, it would be a waste of food and, as they say, “There are people starving in China, you know,” and all sorts of other places for that matter.
So, anyway I was telling you about this conference room when I got distracted by eggs, which reminds me that when our oldest daughter first became a vegetarian, she made an exception for bacon, well bacon and pepperoni to be precise. These days she’s become a full-fledged vegetarian though, like her mother and our youngest daughter, she does occasionally eat seafood. Personally, I’ve never made the conversion perhaps in part because I agree with our son that cauliflower is broccolis’ evil twin.
Twins put me in mind of Twinkies which, after all, come in packages of two presumably so you can give one to a friend and not feel so guilty about eating one yourself. I was always taught to share. Mind you, I’m not saying I learned to share; that’s simply what I was taught. It’s like leading a horse to water, which is something else “they” say and that makes me wonder who “they” are and why “they” keep saying these things.
Now, about this conference room. It had those faux-leather chairs. You know, the ones with high backs that both rock and pivot and are on wheels. I have one now at the desk in my home office. We live in an old house and the floors are uneven, so I put a second desk behind me. Otherwise, every time I sat down I would roll out into the hallway, which is actually fun but our cats like to lay outside my door and so it is generally frowned upon both by the cats and my wife.
By now you’ve probably figured out that I have no earthly idea what I was doing on March 11, 2010. What I do know is on that day I could not have predicted that within a few years I would close my law practice, resort to writing fiction—something I hadn’t done since college—go back to school and get an MFA in writing, and move to Nova Scotia and start a small publishing company. You see, I still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up and it occurs to me that there is a distinct difference between growing up and growing old. I seem to have the latter down pat; the former not so much. Now, as for March 11, 2030...
Ernest Hadley is the publisher and editor at Nevermore Press in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In former lives, he has been a journalist, a civil rights lawyer, a teacher and an author of legal texts.