The Writer: Cliff Roberts

Tonight will not swing. Tonight is for Serious.

Inside, Cliff Roberts is at one with his laptop, sitting in a sleeved shirt he sits with a straight back. A cigarette smoulders in the ashtray to the left of his huge, overpowering arms. A pair of glasses, tinted, sit on his forehead. He is a writer at work.

Outside, in the hall, a man waits, wondering what to do with his hands.

Unruly fingers, that love typing like they love paper cuts, type methodically. Cliff Roberts has a manuscript to finish. This one is called “Fatal Mistake.” It will be his first.

Cliff’s wife, Donna, stands by in anticipation as the final few paragraphs are finished. The story is now complete.

“You ready?” he asks Donna. “It’s done.”

She nods with a smile.

Cliff stands up with the now fully loaded thumb drive. He walks towards the door and with one swift movement finds himself outside in the hall. A conversation occurs. The man who had been waiting leaves with the thumb drive and all is well.

The book has been delivered to the publisher.

Cliff Roberts has been a pauper, a pirate, a poet and a police commissioner. His home is a tribute to his long career. Awards for salesmanship hang from walls, pictures of meetings long forgotten adorn his desk. Now, he has turned a new corner. He has lived enough for two lives and can now write of September. Of the bruising days. Of the rouged lips and bourbon times. Of chill winds. Of forgotten ladies who ride in limousines.

His mind may wander back to days of old Detroit or days of forgotten political campaigns. Perhaps, he thinks of the day he arrived; perhaps he is thinking of the day he will leave.

September can be an attitude or an age or a wistful reality. For Cliff Roberts, it is a time of achievement. A time to write.

A thousand days of writing.


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