Yes, that book. The book I'm not writing. The one I want to write so much.
This new book is a lot like that ugly girl you knew in college, or high school, or junior high... who fucked so well. The one whose phone number you kept but who's calls you wouldn't return. You know the one that I mean.
(If you're a girl, change gender... if you're into that. And if you're one of those people who doesn't know what I'm talking about, you'll never know how fortunate you are.)
Let's be clear. I like this book, all 900 words of it, this sliver of a book, this sampler of a book, but... well, this is where it gets hard to explain. I don't like the way it looks at me. I don't like what it says about me behind my back. No, this is not crazy talk! Writing a book is like vivisection, you open up your guts and (if you were me) look for the funny parts. (Spleens, for instance.)
And I don't like what I see.
This book has my number.
Here's why. I was doing some work on the protagonist. Being in first person, it's important to have this guy down, to know the ins and outs. (By the way, "doing some work" is a euphemism for listening to the voices in my head, letting them talk.)(That part is the crazy talk, I think.) He was married before. He was married to a woman who didn't like him very much. And I realized there's going to come a point in this book where he says that he married her because, "I wanted her to like me."
And that hurt.
Because it's true.
Well, partially true. You see, Vicky and I have learned a lot about my first wife in the last few months. We've learned a lot about who she's become since I tried to get back together with her, years ago, long before Vicky. She's become a horrid human being, and she went out of her way to cause me a great deal of pain. I won't go into details right here but the gist is that the repercussions are only now being felt, like ripples turning into tsunamis.
I had really wanted her to like me - but she never did. Or, if she did, I can't remember it. It's all gone now; the memories have gone to shreds.
The awful feelings that remain wash back upon me in the shape of this figure, this character, this guy who would marry someone because he wants so desperately not just to be loved but to be liked. It's not a comfortable place, but I don't mind that because I know that art should never be comfortable.
And speaking of uncomfortable, I still need to write the damned thing...