Saturday Night People, Part 2 (Emma)

She was beautiful, from head to toe, from back to front. Five-foot, 10-inches tall, brown hair that flowed down over her shoulders. A smile that would put anybody at ease. Eyes you could get lost in.

She was the kind of girl who could easily steal your heart, if you weren’t careful. She was the kind of girl who doesn’t talk to me when I’m sitting alone, sipping on a Corona, trying to make another work day melt away with each passing sip.

She could have been model, but she was the first to admit that those days had passed her by.

After all, she said, she was 29. She introduced herself as Emma.

Emma was a single mother with a three-year-old daughter at home and that’s what mattered the most, right? She worked two jobs to make ends meet, to provide for herself and her little girl and that was her life. She had a day job she worked five days a week and a night job, as well.

What she did during the day never came up. Twice a week, at nights, she worked at a strip club 50 miles from her home.

She was a dancer. A stripper. A mother doing what she had to do for her family.

I searched her eyes again, looking for a lost soul. It wasn’t there. I found nothing but a beautiful women with an engaging smile.

In a perfect world, she said, she wanted to be a writer. She always thought there was a book about stripping that needed to be told, but she was afraid she wouldn’t be any good. As a writer, I assumed, because, well, I couldn’t see her failing as a stripper.

I told her the advice Stephen King, one of the best-selling authors in the world, often gave people. “If you want to be a writer, write.”

We talked about King and other authors. We talked about the growing popularity of young adult novels, from the Harry Potter phenomenon to the Twilight series. We talked about self publishing and blogging, the differences between a Kindle and a Nook, and the values of writing for one’s self versus the value of writing for others.

She said she didn’t know where to start. I told her you just do.

Talking with Emma was a like inhaling a huge breath of fresh air and for the better part of a half hour it was the highlight of my Saturday night.

Girls like that don’t talk to me out of the blue, but I suppose I’m not most guys.

I’m not going to be thinking of her standing up on some stage, taking off her clothes, waiting for somebody to toss a dollar bill or two her way.

I want to think of her sitting down behind her computer, her fingers hitting the keys in front of her, creating words and sentences and a story that will take her where she wants to go.

I want to think of Emma as the writer I met on some random Saturday night.

I hope she finds her words.

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