Friend Vince This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 29, 2008
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I remember who inspired me to write every day: Vince, the guy who used to come to the coffee shop where I work.

Even though he stopped coming and telling me his theories on life, I'll always remember him. He was a 29-year-old artist and novelist, and he always got Temple of Heaven tea, usually a medium. He often wore a black-and-white bandana, chains over a black tank top, and a dark jacket with a studded belt looped through his jeans. He looked intimidating except for the fact that no one was ever intimidated by him.

He drove a jeep, and he lived in an apartment, I think. Or maybe it was a house, but he lived alone. At least he had a home though. At one point he was homeless – I think when he was a teenager.

Anyway, I only knew Vince for two weeks, and I talked to him just twice. But I ­remember taking in every word he said. Damn the ­customers who came in when we were talking. It made things a little awkward when I returned to my seat across from him, my eyes fixed on his mouth because that was where the words were coming from.

I swear he was the smartest man I ever met. He knew what he liked, and he did what he wanted, and nothing held him back. His eyes held no sympathy, yet I could hear in his voice his empathy for everyone who might need comforting.

So Vince told me to do what I like every day. If I liked writing, I should write every day. And ever since, I don't think there's been a day when I haven't written.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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