It was after I moved to Texas that I truly discovered myself as a writer. I’ve drawn from the energy in the literary community to be sure. But beyond that, those Texas writers who write about Texas and certain elements of Texas society have shown me how to write about my own back pages.
This essay by the Mayborn's George Getschow serves as the foreword for the 2015 Ten Spurs book.
I tried every day to keep my father’s political beliefs a secret, so I wouldn’t be thrown out of school. In the back of my mind, I kept remembering the teacher at my high school saying, “You’ll never be allowed to teach.” What I was doing was risky, but at least I was learning English. That brought me closer to my dream of America.
Nina fixes her eyes on the road, tensely tapping her fingers across the steering wheel. The tapping produces a discordant sound that seems to accentuate the apprehension swirling inside the car. “I always feel like someone is following me,” says Nina, peeking through her rearview mirror.
My father is standing in front of the refrigerator with the door wide open. He turns up a can of beer and pours it down his throat. When he finishes, he tosses the empty container into the trash, grabs a fresh one, and pops it open.
The park is full of stories parked behind stories. It’s not that McDonald’s employees don’t have stories of their own, but the customer doesn’t know or care. When you eat at a food truck you directly involve yourself in their story.
I wanted to comfort him, somehow, certain that his courage in the face of death had been a facade. I was an atheist, but I would have liked to believe that we “go to a better place,” that this magical land was waiting for us when the time came. My grandfather would do anything to get there, it seemed.
Discussion ended. I did not slam the receiver down. Even alone, in an office with the door closed, that would have seemed unprofessional. I placed the receiver back in its cradle and made fists instead, glaring at the wall in front of me. Dammit. Now what do I do?