And, of course, for selling it to The Atlantic.
But it was also his story; it was his story before it ever belonged to me, and truth be told: He was a better writer than I was.
My friend’s brother, Nic, was also a graduate student in the same creative writing program as my cousin Paul and his wife Jen, which made our worlds seem even smaller to me, and, at the same time, also made me feel even more loyal to Nic. We had only met once, over a weekend of debauchery in Las Vegas, but I knew, instinctively, that Nic understood Louisiana the same way I do. His first novel, Galveston, confirmed that to me. I sank into it; I was hooked, and Nic and I have remained friends.
Today, because of Nic’s HBO show True Detective, he is now being lauded as a genius writer. I knew that a decade ago, when his first story in The Missouri Review (remember, I was his brother’s best friend and roommate) about a boy going to a horse race with his alcoholic father reduced me to tears.