The Famous Writer

famous writer

Late in 2012, I became Facebook friends with a famous writer. I considered him one of the most talented writers around, a truly unique and brilliant voice. His novels are dark and disturbing but also hilarious.

He not only accepted my friend request, but he sent me a message to say he liked my blog. It was like being blessed by the Pope, only better.

We started to write messages back and forth and exchanged email addresses, We shared a depressed but cynically amused world view and had many of the same literary heroes. We even shared a love/hate relationship with weightlifting.

We decided to talk on the phone. I loved his deep voice and I loved his ideas. Here he was, a living god, and he seemed to really enjoy talking to me.

Our conversations weren’t sexual or even suggestive, but it was like a love affair based on a mutual sensibility. That’s how I saw it.

We talked about suicide and his experience helping a deeply depressed friend. I told him that I was struggling, and his insights were comforting and useful.

He told me about a crazy girlfriend who had shattered his belief in his own judgement. She had bailed on him without warning and married some other guy. I agreed with his diagnosis of her and we spent many hours going over the awfulness of dealing with Borderline Personality Disorders.

We talked about the reasons I haven’t tried to tackle a serious writing project. He encouraged me to take the plunge despite my fear of failure and all the usual bullshit that people who can’t write a novel like to use as excuses for their lack of effort or talent.

Then, he offered to be my writing mentor.

It was like a beautiful dream where everything you ever wanted plots right into your lap! I was beside myself with excitement. And even hope. Now I would write something long, something that needed to be expressed in words, in order to both ensure my sanity and justify my worthless existence.

I started to write the story of Max.

I started with the end and worked backwards. I recounted every detail, trying to capture everything. the terror and shock and grief and remorse and most of all the love.

I sent him the six pages and he was supportive, although not exactly bowled over. He reminded me that you can’t just report things, even in a memoir. You have to create a whole world.

And then he disappeared.

He didn’t respond to my phone messages or emails. There was only silence.

I began to worry that he thought I was a stalker, that’s how many messages I left. I became paranoid, wondering if someone had turned him against me. I regretted writing the six pages of complete shit. How dare I have such an inflated opinion of myself to try to write something that mattered!

Then he reappeared. He was sorry about the long silence but things had been rough. However, now he had exciting news. He was deliriously in love with a much younger women but everything was perfect. She was incredibly talented and beautiful and was about to move in with him. They had only just become lovers but they were picking out name for their children. He would support her while she wrote her masterpiece. I think he even gave her a diamond ring.

I was stunned by his story, especially after the long silence. I tried to be happy for him even though I was pretty sure the romance would end badly for him. After another long silence, he called me to let me know that she’d disappeared. She left the ring but took the high-end clothes he bought for her.

We laughed about the clothes. I felt terrible for him. Two crazy girlfriends in a row, and I mean crazy.

Then he disappeared again. And I decided to forget about him. Maybe he was like my own crazy girlfriend, the one whose red flags I refused to notice.

I didn’t try to finish the Max story. I guess it’s a story to carry in my heart until I see him again.

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20 Responses to The Famous Writer

  1. Andy says:

    They always take the high end clothes. Those bitches.

  2. xiloxoxo says:

    “I started to wrote the story of Max.” — typo error?

  3. Richard says:

    In most states, the ring has to be given back because it’s a gift in contemplation of marriage. No marriage, no ring. My ex is a lawyer. However, not so much for other gifts. I’d take the clothes too. He took all of the clothes I bought him when he left.

  4. romeo says:

    I warned you not to get involved with that Dan Brown nogoodnik.

  5. Not Famous says:

    “famous writer”
    “like being blessed by the Pope, only better”
    “his experience helping a deeply depressed friend”
    “crazy girlfriend”
    “my writing mentor”
    “you have to create a whole world”
    “I began to worry”
    “sorry about the long silence”
    “and I mean crazy”

    Keep writing about Max. It’s for you. It’s for us. It’s not for Famous Writer.

  6. Sister Wolf says:

    xiloxoxo – Yes, typo, fixed it. Are you the new writing mentor?

    Richard – I didn’t know that about the ring. Sorry about the ex. xo

    romeo – haahhahahahaha

    not famous – Thank you for understanding xo

  7. Miranda says:

    I don’t care how famous he is: he’s a jackass. Your writing is probably better than his. Your story, and your deep understanding of grief, helped me more than anything out there. Please continue on…

  8. Dj says:

    This is not a good story nor a situation you deserve. The guy is a Narcisist of the highest order. Why wouldn’t he love the attention of a very intelligent, witty woman who he can mentor and have deep conversations with! He has dreams too. But, to me, the mentor/mentee relationship ended when he felt the need to regale you with his deliriously intoxicating love affair. How crass and juvenile. Even though there was no sexual vibe going on, he seduced you. You fell for him. It became personal. The lukewarm reception of your heartfelt writing also stinks. Why? It wasn’t about him. Please don’t give him another opportunity to be in your life. He had no business involving you in his life in such an intimate way. You are not of that ilk.

    If the ex girlfriend had been as fabulous as he said, she would have kept the diamond as well

  9. kate says:

    I knew exactly how this story was going to end after the first paragraph. Men, am I right?
    Except for the last sentence, which made me cry. You do that to me sometimes.

  10. Bevitron says:

    I wish I could read the six pages, I would love to read the story of Max. It made me cringe and feel horribly sad that your intensely personal account that mattered light-years beyond all ordinary mattering was writerized with his admonishment that “you can’t just report things, even in a memoir.” I guess even famous, brilliant writers can miss the point with breathtaking thickheadedness. I don’t like the sound of his insecurity & juvenile baby-naming before any reason to have a reason ways, either, but he enjoyed talking to you and reading your blog, so he obviously had something going for himself. Please finish the Max story, just don’t ever give it to him to read (if he ever shows back up, which I hope he doesn’t).

  11. DR says:

    You don’t need anyone’s validation. You’re very good.

  12. Stavroula says:

    The first time I have put my index finger and thumb in an L shape on my forehead was while reading this post.

    I would love to read Max’s story please do it.

  13. Stavroula says:

    I was so peeved reading your post I didn’t take a moment to proof my comment before submitting. Aside from the grammar I am horrified at the though of the sentence sounding like a veiled diss at you. He, him, it, is the loser!

  14. Jody lynn says:

    Whoa, sounds like an insecure guy and to be burned again, ouch. But please continue with your story of Max. (Your son?)

  15. Sister Wolf says:

    not famous – Thank you! I guess I wanted to be told that.

    Miranda – Knowing that I helped you is a huge comfort.

    Dj – He isn’t a villain in any way actually. He reached out to me for his own reasons and wanted to be supportive. It just didn’t last. But it was me giving him all that power, that’s the bad part.

    kate – xoxo

    Bevitron – I’m sure I’ve said this before but you are the fucking wings etc.!!!

    Stavroula – Thank you so much! He isn’t a loser though – just a person struggling with his own shit. But thank you for your encouragement.

    Jody Lynn – Thank you and yes, my son.

  16. helen waite says:

    That book is in you and needs to be let out -for all sorts of reasons.
    For you and for us as Not Famous said.

    You have lots of good stuff already done that will bulk up an early draft – it’s all here in this blog.

    ps: tha is a fine picture of WSB

  17. Emma says:

    You are a great writer. Your blog is brilliant and you have a thoroughly unique point of view. I am never 100% sure what your opinion will necessarily be on any issue. You should definitely write your book. I think your perspective and experiences and talent will all combine to create something that will truly enrich our world.

    I don’t know how old your writer friend is, but to continually become involved with bdp women is pathological. Once is lesson enough for the average person.

    Narcissists and BDPs are magnetically attracted to each other like an industrial strength magnet the size of Jupiter. Though your friend does not seem to, exhibit narcissistic traits, was not supportive as a mentor and was selfish and a unkind. He didn’t set out to seduce you and then destroy you like a regular narcissist would. It’s confusing. And that is exactly what makes these relationships so compelling. Their behaviour is so outside the realm of what is reasonable and what we would do, that our minds and emotions go crazy trying to solve the puzzle. “Was it something I said’ ‘why did I say that??” “I shouldn’t have done, this, I shouldn’t have done that.’ ‘I spooked him with my neediness’ etc etc

    It is highly likely that he is a narcissist and so far, you are one of his sources of supply that he keeps on the back burner ready in the wings until you are needed in the future, which is why he has not displayed his narcissistic rage or any other traits that would give him away.

    However there is one MAJOR red flag. It is so text book.

    An average, not disordered person would not have left you in radio silence. A non disordered person would have perceived your distress and written a quick two second email telling you that he is ok but just needs space right now. He was receiving all of your emails and messages. FOR SURE. He read every single one of them. Probably with a smirk on his face. He sensed your distress and did not send one reply. No matter how caught up someone is in a love affair or drama or work or what ever the fuck. If you sense you are causing someone distress, and not just anyone, a friend that you have shared intimate conversations with. You write something. Anything back to provide them relief. Especially. MOST especially if you know the writer to be a sensitive, grief stricken person who has come to rely on your friendship as a beacon of hope, however glimmering.

    He is a narcissist and he is testing you to see how much pain and confusion you will tolerate and whether you will come back for more. He will lure you in again and then do something else to test you. he will turn it up a notch.

    Be thankful that he is out of your life. He is a famous writer so his opportunities for sources of supply are many and varied. But please be on guard if he contacts you again.

    Please be very careful. I urge you to speak to a therapist that specialises in the victims of narcissistic disordered people. Narcissists are like robots in their approach to a new source of supply, the devouring and the discarding. A therapist of this kind will give you a lot of insight into his behaviours. This woman’s articles on bdp and narcissism are excellent

    The intoxicating highs of a love affair (even a platonic one) with a narcissist are impossible to replicate with a normal person, there is nothing like the closeness, the understanding the heightened sense of mission and wonder. my god, the everything of it, the fusion, the depth, the deep water feeling. But the resulting destruction and and total annihilation of your life are something that is difficult to get over. Be very careful about allowing him into your life again.

  18. Suspended says:

    It was nice while it lasted. Some of our most pleasurable moments are the most fleeting. He definitely sounds like he’s a bit lost when it comes to love. Shame.

    I’m of the firm belief that your book is well worth finishing. Max would agree. Your writing is always from the heart, even when it’s about trivial shit like ugly denim, haha, that is why we love to read you. Please try your best to finish it.

    …and can we please have some more ugly denim posts. My disgust is feeling neglected.


    FFS…I’m on a time limit and I have to do maths.

  19. Jim says:

    you should keep at it – but write it for readers not ‘Famous Writers” with those capital letters they put up to keep lower case writers in their place. WSB would have been 102 on the day of your post. He had to write himself out of places where he didn’t want to stay. Good header pic to choose.

  20. Nikki says:

    I keep reading all of these comments about “oh he’s such a terrible guy” and on one level I’m tempted to yell right along side. But I know what it’s like to fall in love (no matter what sort of love) and then find silence. I know the fear and terror that can span a year and then receive only a few messages as pittance for the pain.
    And like you, I have a friend that tells me: “if she cared half as much as you did, she wouldn’t have left you in the dark.”
    I know she cared about me.
    So I can’t say that he didn’t.
    It’s really tempting to nod along, but I know what I did in the pain. A good person can make bad choices just like any other. Does it sound like he’ll get his head on straight? No, unfortunately, and for that I’m sorry.
    It’s amazing, though, how much we think it was worth it anyway.

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