I fell in love with Michael King in the late 1970’s. A fellow Sagittarian, my soul mate, the love of my life. My hero in brown corduroy trousers. His shining brown eyes meeting mine across the ‘Varsity’ crowded writing workshop room in Wellington, making my heart flutter with desire. In his somewhat high octave voice he would say, ‘Explain it in as few words as possible. If you can’t, it is not worth saying.’
My adoration of course was unrequited. Michael was oblivious to my ‘crush’.
I am sure if Michael had realised my passion for him, he would have been somewhat amused.
I would travel from Palmerston North to Wellington in the old slow express train to Michael’s writing course at Victoria University. I would scribble my award winning short story in my shiny red covered ‘Warwick 2B5 Lecture Book’ as the clickety-clack rhythm of the train wheels echoed in my head. ‘I’m going to see Michael, I’m going to see Michael. Clickety-clack, clickety-clack.
The sense of freedom was exhilarating. The sense of learning creative writing was thrilling. I felt as though I had been let out of my solo parent jail. I was on a constant ‘high’ with enthusiasm and excitement for the written word and of course for Michael.
Michael King was always professional. I cringe now when I think of the short story I had written all those years ago. I had eagerly voiced snippets to the other students in the class. Thank you, Michael, thank you, fellow classmates, for being very diplomatic and not roasting me about the dreadful story I had written.
I have not won any awards for writing but my passion for the written word remains.
My memory of Michael is with love. Changed of course from the inane affection of years ago. This love is with admiration for a man who encouraged me to write.
With that encouragement, I have always thought that my award-winning day will come. The silence beyond is deafening.