The old adage is true—writing is rewriting. But it takes a kind of courage to confront your own awfulness (and you will be awful) and realize that, if you sleep on it, you can come back and bang at the thing some more, and it will be less awful. And then you sleep again, and bang even more, and you have something middling. Then you sleep some more, and bang, and you get something that is actually coherent. Hopefully when you are done you have a piece that reasonably approximates the music in your head. And some day, having done that for years, perhaps you will get something that is even better than the music in your head. Becoming a better writer means becoming a re-writer. But that first phase is so awful that most people don’t want any part.
There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.
Cali is the author of "Two-Millionths Sneeze".
“‘Hypnic Jerk’ is a story about the momentum of life, and how it can
run off without you if you let it.”—Louis
It felt like a splash-down from a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.
I woke up with a start after that half-asleep feeling like I was hurtling downward. At two in the morning, I still couldn’t get to sleep. My mind reeled after the past few days. Life felt like it was gaining speed, slipping away and I couldn’t hold on. Soon it may run off without me.
I sat up and picked a glass of water up off the bedside table.
Didn’t I just graduate yesterday? I thought.
No, that was at least two years ago, said that know-it-all little voice in the back of my head.
Quiet, I said. I graduated, moved, moved again, left everything behind, and here I am. How long have I been here?
Nearly a year, now.
When did that happen?
Well, I guess it sort of crept up on us.
Smartass. I took a sip, set the glass back down, and tried to go back to sleep. I knew sleep wouldn’t come easy. It hadn’t for days, ever since this thought latched on to my psyche like a tick.
Well it’s not like you didn’t see this coming, the voice said.
She’s getting married, I said. Everyone’s getting married. Everyone’s having kids. Everyone’s moving on, and I’m halfway across the country from anyone I give a damn about.
Wah, wah, wah. You knew this would happen when you left.
I didn’t have much of a choice, now did I?
Sure you did. You had two choices: go or stay.
Like the Clash song.
Now who’s the smartass?