mentioned heretofore, all leading nowhere, and finally
washed up in this sleepy California town, with my Chevy
van, my cat Mo, and my antique Smith-Corona.
A guy named Paul Rink lived down the street. Look
him up, he's in Henry Miller's Big Sur and the Oranges of
Hieronymus Bosch. Paul was a writer. He lived in his
camper, "Moby Dick." I started each day over coffee with
Paul. He turned me on to all kinds of authors I had never
heard of, lectured me on self-discipline, dedication, the evils
of the marketplace. But best of all, he shared with me his
prayer, the Invocation of the Muse from Homer's Odyssey,
the T. E. Lawrence translation. Paul typed it out for me on
his even-more-ancient-than-mine manual Remington. I still
have it. It's yellow and parched as dust; the merest puff
would blow it to powder.
In my little house I had no TV. I never read a newspaper
or went to a movie. I just worked. One afternoon I was
banging away in the little bedroom I had converted to an
office, when I heard my neighbor's radio playing outside.
Someone in a loud voice was declaiming "... to preserve,
protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." I
came out. What's going on? "Didn't you hear? Nixon's out;
they got a new guy in there."
I had missed Watergate completely.
I was determined to keep working. I had failed so many
times, and caused myself and people I loved so much pain
STEVEN PRESSFIELD III