“AWOL on the bleachers of our lives” is a misquotation from the author Rose Tremain; she wrote it in a column in our newspaper, entitles “If i could see me now…”, subtitled ” what your younger self would make of you today”. It is always quite interesting, to see what famous people think they junior selves would think about the people they are today – except of course, it depends on what the people they are today actually do think of themselves, and how they imagine their younger selves might have been – neither of which might be true..,. even if it could ever be true!
To be honest, I didn’t actually read it, my husband did and read out something she had written, laughing as he did so. She was talking about writers, and talking about her husband who is also a writer; he understood her, she said because he was the same himself. Now, I have to say that I had to look up the word ‘bleachers’ which I didn’t truly know although I had heard it once before in an American TV drama; I had guessed, and I was right I discovered when I looked it up today, that bleachers are the stands of seats around a sports ground. I just wonder why she used this American term, and also wondered how many readers of the newspaper would know what bleachers are – certainly my husband who is very knowledgeable and well-read didn’t. It slightly made me suspicious of the whole quote, which starts of by saying that “writers are often AWOL on the bleachers of their lives”. Rose Tremain is English, why would she use this American expression?
Whatever my doubts and quibble about her mentioning bleachers, which is such an un-English expression and analogy, the next thing she said really did ring true.
Writers, she said, are often in “some deep-sea zone with mermaids, where you jut can’t follow them.”