Marcy says she nags and pokes. I’ll bet the people who work for her don’t say that. They probably wouldn’t dare. Marcy is in publishing and she has deadlines. Deadlines that she never misses. Marcy says that her business is serious; there are contracts and legal obligations. “This is not school,” she tells me.

And here I am thinking school is serious; serious enough for me. How serious do I want to get I wonder? The more I learn about the publishing business, the more I realize that I don’t fit in. I am a good nagger and poker, but more in a motherly way and less like a smart and savvy businesswoman. When Marcy talks people listen, people move. When I talk, they might roll their eyes or sigh, it happens, I’ve seen it.

Marcy has the ivy-league drawl; I say that because she sounds like the members of my family who attended Ivy League schools. My stepbrother and his wife went to Harvard and they talk like Marcy does. My daughter does too. She went to Brown. She grew up under my roof, spoke just like I do for most of her life and then when she came home from college, I noticed her accent, just like I noticed Marcy’s. It’s the pace of their words, the throaty way they speak, their vowels tumble around lazily in their mouths, it’s a Northern drawl, I suppose, the accent of the well educated. And maybe it doesn’t matter where they go to college; maybe that relaxed sort of tone comes from just knowing your stuff, from being confident.

I can’t seem to find that voice in myself these days. I would need to practice because it has been so long since I have spoken out loud about anything at length. I suppose that’s why I take note of how Marcy speaks, of how my daughter speaks. I envy them. I have been sitting alone with my thoughts for over a year now. I take on-line classes in Creative Non-Fiction. I write all day. I am at a computer, typing my words, struggling for meaning, searching for just the right phrase, typing, deleting, typing again. I have time to work things out. When I have to speak, I long for that luxury, the one that allows me time to compose.

I doubt that Marcy needs time to think about what she will say.

She talks all day long and people listen; I listened when she told me about her job and what it entails. I like knowing what happens in her world and what a publisher looks for in a book, in a writer of books. Marcy says she’s not a writer. She doesn’t want to be one. I think though, that she would be a good at it. Sharp and witty and aware and then to top it all off, organized. Oh, what a writer she would be! But Marcy is a nagger and a poker and that’s good for people like me who need her. She can tell me in her relaxed tone of intellectual confidence, how to fix my words. I would trust her.

I would never roll my eyes at Marcy.