write LIKE Nabokov

by Amy Turn Sharp


 

He wrote on index cards in a non-sequential manner, arranging scenes like moments that came to him. And he wrote standing up. He shuffled them like poker cards. He had 2,000 cards at times. I can recall having Lolita in flimsy paperback when I was thirteen years old. I fanned it like sweet sunshine at the pool. Other girls had Tigerbeat magazine or some shit, but I was finding ways of making my insides buzz. I never found it lewd, more like a gateway drug. The origins of older men live in the dead concrete heat of the Logan, Ohio community swimming pool. He also wrote in the backseat of his 1946 Oldsmobile car because it was quiet I suppose. I love most that he was a synesthete because it makes him more than smart.

I will write on index cards all week. I will pull my index cards from my back pocket. I will walk around the block seven times, thinking about how to master the prose, make it stand frozen in time like pictures.  I will climb into the backseat of my golden minivan and scribble all night long with a tiny flashlight for company. I will write words and sentences and emerge in the sunshine brittle of morning and hand all of the cards to Joe. I will bite my lower lip and call myself Lo. I will beg him to take the cards to the computer and make sense of them. We will spread the cards out all over our bed. I will reach across the bed to the tiny bookcase and find my old weathered copy of Lolita. I will lick it and it will taste like blue.

 

Last week was Faulkner. I failed. I don't do bourbon well.

 

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