The following essay is by Jimmy Epperson, now working in PR in Big D. He is another Hemingway. His father, Jim Epperson is a long time friend, a UCO alum, who many years ago started a weekly newspaper, The Stephens County Star, just north of where I published The Waurika News-Democrat. The paper lasted only a few months, but it was full of vim, vigor, passion and irreverence that I admired...the kind of journalism that matters. His son Jimmy has that passion.
I went to the art museum today... as I always do at lunch. I leave the 34-story office and buy a hot dog from a street vendor with a yellow umbrella. By the time I reach the cold museum the boiling dog has already been gobbled up...burning the insides of my chest. Then I get a vanilla coke and wander around.
Today, I discovered a new wing of the museum. And while I browsed I saw a painting called, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” It was a large painting of a woman’s face... distorted with anguish.
Suddenly, like a flash of lightning, I was in your class learning about impressions. I was crying at the Kimbell and I had just seen my first Francis Bacon painting. I was riding my bike on campus seeing the reflections of break lights on stop signs. I saw moonlight through the blinds from a girlfriend's bed. I saw the water tower reflecting horizontal sunlight. And I remembered Hemingway talking about the museum when he was hungry.
In the same flash... in the same instance... I remembered that we are supposed to write just as Cezanne painted… by the light reflecting off objects.
And then I wondered that question that always haunts me... Why am I not writing? Why do I stare at light that reflects off a computer screen on the 34th floor of this building all day?
I realized I am still sick with that poor man disease. I remembered that I am still a writer.