Failure is the Spice of Life


By Isaac Fisher


          The worst thing that can happen if you try something is that you succeed. Trust me, I am successful. I remember when it all began. I wrote a short story in my sixth grade English class. We all had to, it was homework. The title was The Tail of Whiskers. I thought that it was funny that you could write the word “Tale” as “Tail”. My teacher loved it.  It hung up on the family refrigerator for about two years until I succeeded again. I called it Space Age Odyssey. The title is self-explanatory. After that hit, my teacher, the same one from sixth grade, recommended that my parents send me to a school for creative arts. I wrote another story for the application.  It was about a mouse and a cat that fell in love with each other. Typical Romeo and Juliet story, except that a dog ends up eating the mouse, compelling the cat to fight him in a bloody duel. Neither party won except for the maggots, who feasted on the two corpses for hundreds of generations. I got in. 

           In high school, I wrote more many more stories, each one better than the one before. I stayed at home for many hours each day. Didn’t play any sports, didn’t have a girlfriend. I just wanted to write my stories. By the time I had finished my senior year I was a published author. So then came the next step. I sent my portfolios to colleges. I even landed a scholarship at NYU for creative writing. Going to New York to write stories. Nothing sounded more enticing to an eighteen year old. I wrote about one every two weeks for the four years I was there. Comes to about two hundred stories. Each November I did the Novel Challenge. I had some very influential professors. They helped me publish my first novel. The sci-fi Love Your Neighbor Mars.  You might have heard of it. It was a best-seller for a week. Well, if that didn’t make me think that I was successful then I don’t know what did. 

           I kept writing stories until I graduated. Then I wrote more stories. People loved them. I went on book tours. I spoke at universities. I even met a woman by this point. Once upon a time we fell in love and had a child together. But that was just in the novel Best Seller. That one won me bread for ten years when it got redone as a movie. It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Eventually, I didn’t need to edit anymore. Stories were written perfectly on their first drafts.

            One day I was sitting in a studio when a man came in to deliver pizza. He was middle aged and I recognized him to be a friend from high school. We struck up a conversation, and we reminisced about our cookey English teacher, Mrs. Marzipan. He was shocked at how wealthy I became and insinuated a couple envious phrases. I asked him what he was up to, and he told me that he was manager at the joint that delivered this pizza. He had always wanted to make pizza, and because the acting gig didn’t pan out after he dropped out of college, he figured he might as well. He didn’t own the shop, but managing was second best. Now he plays basketball with has-beens in the park, coaches his son’s baseball and plays guitar on the side. I said wow that’s fascinating that he did so much. He told me that he didn’t really do much of anything, at least compared to me. I know better now. He was just being humble. That’s why I am writing this piece today. I know it will be thrown in an anthology and win a micro award. I just wish for once that it wouldn’t. So then who knows? Maybe I will pick up guitar.