Today’s prompt is from Seth Godin.
Would they miss you if you were gone?
What would have to change for that question to lead to a better answer?
It’s a lot like the question he asked last year, because he wanted people who have participated both years to notice how their answers may have already changed.
Whoa buddy, has mine changed. I think I’m just going to transcribe this straight from the journal entry that I poured my response into this morning….
Dear Seth, You must have really hated Existentialism. I’ve read this prompt five times. I keep imagining you in college, feeling the nausée for the first time, and desperately wishing you could leap back in time and punch Jean Paul Sartre in the nose. I don’t know whether you were studying him in French class, or in Philosophy. Philosophy, I think. A Sophomore-level class. No earlier. No later, certainly. Phil201. I imagine you curled up on a stained rug being angry at a dead French guy that we can’t ever really know what other people think of us. And there’s nothing we can do about it, even if we did.
I don’t know who would miss me. Would the lady with the brightly colored scarves and the jaunty walk miss me? I miss her when I don’t see her after a while. What about the leaf-blower dudes? Or the gay couple that always kisses at the intersection where they have to part ways – one heading north and one heading south. I smile at the tall one, he smiles at me. The short one travels north and walks very, very fast. I’ve never met him. What about the sweet homeless man who talks to tiny hallucinations and reassures them that they are wonderful mothers? What about the blond guy with the black plastic sunglasses straight out of the 1980s? What about the tall, thin woman with two tiny dogs who is always covered with hats and scarves and I don’t know whether it’s a religious observance or that she’s just always chilly?
These people see me almost every day. We do not know one another’s names or stories. Do I inspire them? Comfort them? Sometimes they inspire and comfort me. I would miss them if I didn’t see them. Would they miss me? How the hell would I know?
What does it matter? What does it change?
This question – like the one last year – is targeted to an entrepreneur. A business artist, or someone with something to sell. Right now, I’m midway through rewrites, I’m not querying much. I’m editing short stories to re-submit to magazines. I don’t have anything to sell, and I don’t have an audience, and I don’t mind any of that.
I’ve sorted out my priorities, and being missed didn’t make the cut.
A few amazing posts that you MUST read by other questers:
- How Laundry Line Divine Made Me Cry Today
- Miniature adventures with Brenna Layne
- Anna Sircova asks a good question