April. It shouldn’t snow in April, but I was stuck in a snowstorm in evening rush hour traffic on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. Ahead, four lanes of red taillights crept up the rise at Belmont and disappeared. I’d left my office at the college half an hour late, and with this traffic I was going to be much later than I’d promised my unforgiving babysitter. My husband and I shared the relieve-the-babysitter-and-start-dinner shift, but he was out of town. By the time I got home she would be seething and our kids would be bouncing off the ceiling. Trying not to think about that or the depressingly long to-do list I’d left un-done at school or the short story I was trying to write that had a huge logic gap in the middle, I flicked on the radio and merriment filled the air. Bright piano jazz, a woman’s spritely laugh, a man’s chuckle. Radio, the opiate of the commuting masses. Thank goodness.
…as a writer? Deep, rough male voice.
Had I lucked into a talk show about writing? I loosened my grip on the steering wheel.
Do you find it hard to be productive? the man went on.
Not at all, the woman answered with a laugh.
So she was the writer.