“How are you doing?” Yeah, well, I have this thing with the night sweats and being unable to stop my brain and not knowing what the hell is going on with my life and thinking I’m just not where I should be. But aside from that, well, yeah, all is good.
No one wants to hear about it. I sure as hell don’t. Nobody does. Not even the Facebook algorithm. (They blocked my previous post about the Anti-Wilhelm Grunt, implying that I was suicidal. Got to think about that one.)
I knew a guy from Croatia named Milan who complained about everything.
“How are you doing, Milan?”
“Well, I’ve got the rash on my arm. And my knee is a little tight. And my digestion. Never been worse.”
I never asked him again. It’s just a pleasantry and we should just all get it together and move on. It’s a new day. We’re alive and the sun is shining. Even if it isn’t.
Post a lovely picture of food and talk about an exciting new series. And what about getting laid! There’s music and dreams and amazing new things to come. And what about getting laid?!?! Who cares if we all sound like cows in the field waiting to get slaughtered? Relax. Look on the cud side.
So, yeah, it’s okay to be down. It’s okay to talk about it. Just nobody will listen. Including me.
I’ve come to the end. My novel, My Bad Side is done. Ending is hard. I’ve worked toward this moment for over four years. I’ve read through some 40 books for research – on everything from zoos and fire fighters to sex work and Newfoundland. And I’ve written lots of words – over160,000 – some of them too often (suddenly, everything, turned) and edited those down through four drafts to 99,065. And here I am, not as exhilarated as I would have liked – when is it ever like that? It’s almost the opposite actually, like I don’t want to be at this point, finished, like it’s a death. I have the ending down to one of three final scenes: a walk with Apollo, a night of music or an ocean swim. I have vacillated between each. Each has something, some essence, but then I wonder if it is too much. Is it melodramatic or too damn trite? Then again, I can’t avoid the guts of moment – like The Beatles did in their final album Abbey Road, ending not with The End, but with the lousiest Beatles song ever recorded, Her Majesty’s. It’s been a struggle, all of these endings in the mix, and then wondering if there might be another. I’ve considered just throwing it all away and using the Debbie Does Dallas finale where all the characters gather naked and say in chorus, ‘If it feels good, do it!’ Something like that. Or I could go with the ocean swim. It’s a tough call to make.