Decater Orlando Collins
Decater is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Beijing, China. His collection of microfiction, Picasso Painted Dinosaurs, is now available at Amazon. He tries to write a 100 word story every day at http://entropy2.com/blogs/100words/
Dinner with Margaret Atwood
The conversation was polite--she's Canadian after all--but surface. Her interest seemed genuine when I mentioned I wanted to be a writer, the way a mother is interested in her five-year-old's finger painting. I needed to flaunt my understanding, to let her know that I get it, and hated to think I was being patronized. She tolerated my high school English critiques with all the grace that you'd expect, but as the food dwindled, my desperation grew. I felt like I was missing my chance, that somehow if I won her approval, everything would be okay. I would matter.
I first saw him lying outside the haberdashery downtown. They said he was born without any connective tissue. Lacking cartilage and tendons and ligaments, he was more amoeba than man, and he was often left out like discarded laundry. Passersby debated his fate. The philosophical wondered if the deformity significantly altered his understanding of the world, while the compassionate argued he never should have been allowed to live. I always found it hard to look away. There was nothing holding him together, yet somehow he continued to exist. And I found myself increasingly jealous of how well-dressed he always appeared.