Monday, January 18, 2010

I Just Want To Be Famous

That's what she told me just a few weeks before she was to graduate from the university. She was young, gorgeous, healthy, bursting with vitality, and she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. Not an inkling. Not a spark of interest in pursuing any particular career.

She just wants to be famous.

The TV show American Idle indicates that that this desire to achieve Fame and Fortune is not confined to the few, but is wide-spread among today's American youth. And curiously, they all seem to think that they deserve it. That they are somehow, special.

I don't remember ever having felt that way. Never. In fact, as far back as I can remember, what I wanted more than anything else was to be left alone. Left alone to do whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it, without any outside interference.

Even during those pleasant moments of quiet contemplation in which probably all aspiring writers indulge, picturing in imagination what it might be like to become a widely-read and respected author of a multitude of praiseworthy books, I always shrank from the publicity angle of the day-dream.

The book-signings, personal appearances, guest-lecturing and the like all left me trembling at the very thought. And when notified that yet another of my books had won that year's Pulitzer and also the Nobel for Literature, I was relieved when I reminded myself that I could always either refuse the prizes or have a proxy accept them for me while I sat alone comfortably at my keyboard in blessed isolation in my small but comfortable ranch-house tucked away in the far-off wilderness.

Alone except for my beautiful and adoring live-in housekeeper, standing behind me, running her fingers through my hair as she lovingly presses her voluptuous body into mine and gazes over my shoulder to read from the monitor the current page of my manuscript in progress.

Why would anyone want to be famous?

I don't know.

Fame is the thirst of youth
(Lord Byron)

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