Squib 378 [by Alan Ziegler]

For Roger Angell (1921-2022)

Long ago, on the off-chance I might run into the Devil at the Crossroads,

                                                        Robert Johnson’s Crossroads



Crossroads two

I prepared a modest negotiation list (not worth trading my soul for, but perhaps Mephisto would settle my soles:


                                                1) Appear on WBAI

                                                2) teach at Columbia University

                                                3) publish in The Village Voice

                                                4) publish in the Paris Review

                                                5) publish in The New Yorker.

By 1986 I had yet to crack the toughest nut, The New Yorker (of course, The New Yorker). I sent off an un-agented story, like buying a lottery ticket for the cost of roundtrip stamps. One afternoon, I slowly opened the mailbox, ever-hoping to find my SASE feather-light, sans story. Once again, not again. Upstairs, I clicked my blinking answering machine.

Download Answering machine 1986


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