The noisy boys both love balloons. But a strange thing happens when you offer one to Twin B.
“No thanks,” he says.
“But you love balloons!” I prompt.
“I don’t want one,” he explains, “it might fly away.”
And he’s serious. Two years ago he asked me to hold his balloon and I lost my grip and it was gone. Now, to avoid even the chance of experiencing such heartache again, he’s sworn off balloons.
“Isn’t it better to have a balloon and lose it than to never have a balloon at all?”
And so he continues his journey through childhood balloonless.
I do the exact same thing with my writing. I’ve been writing for small-run publications for four years now. I joke that I’ve been published plenty, but in magazines that nobody reads. I write for ten bucks and five copies, and suffer very little rejection. Unlike writers with reams of rejection letters, I have just one. Because if I don’t send the query or pitch the book idea, it can’t be rejected, right? If I don’t ever take a balloon, it can’t fly away. I’ll never be disappointed.
Of course, I’ll never have a balloon either.