I know how to end up in a bathtub, in the dark, drinking whiskey out of a mason jar on a sunny Friday afternoon. I know exactly what it takes to decide that instead of going to a Reggae festival with all your friends, you will instead, put on dirty pajamas and listen to only the most sorrowful 90s music. I feel guilty even as I write this because I know that people have gone through far worse than what I have, but it doesn’t temper the sting. I take slight joy in that I’m typing this with a possibly broken finger. Maybe that makes it a little more legit?
I got my hardest rejection yet today. A literary agent that I stalked at a book signing had been going back and forth with me for about a good 8 weeks. I mean, he was it. I felt like a sophomore in high school who just went to third base with the quarterback. I thought we were going places, but then it didn’t work out. He told me how incredible my writing was, and how impressed he was with the revision he’d specified for me. He told me my persistence was immeasurable, and that my passion would carry me. Then he told me he couldn’t go on my journey with me. I’ve heard it before, but not like this. We were so close. I mean, there had been some serious discussion. Didn’t that count for something? I knew this was it. And the worst part is how grateful I am to him for all of it.
So tonight I’m having a pity party, where I’m the guest of honor. I get to ask why them and not me. I get to think of all the hours…the blood, the sweat, the tears. I get to fantasize about what might have been, and wonder why I wasn’t chosen. I get to relish in that awful, but magnetic feeling of self-destructing for a minute.
I might let my dogs sit with me as long as they’re melancholy enough. I don’t want to see any tails wagging. I don’t want people to build me up, or tell me it’s meant to be. I don’t want anyone to nonchalantly write off my latest failure. I want them to let me have it, let me bathe in it, and let me listen to 20-year-old R.E.M. (though I may switch to Collective Soul in a few).
Tomorrow will be different, because I know there’s a sick part in me that likes the pain. Tomorrow I will find more events to attend, more agents to query, and more people to connect to. But for tonight, it’s whiskey out of a mason jar. Why a mason jar? Probably just for the poetry. Probably so I feel a little closer to the romance of feeling like a loser. You fellow writers know what I mean…
I’ll go back to rose` from long-stemmed glasses tomorrow. But tonight…tonight is for pity. My mother always told me, “Take a day. Cry, scream, piss, and moan. Feel sorry for yourself. Just make sure it’s only one, though. You get a day.” I think I’ll cash in. Tonight is for me..me, my pity, and my mason jar…
….and maybe Johnny Cash just to make it worse