Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Smelling My Fingers

I often wake up to the sound of a bell. Something about breaking the barrier of sleep, I guess. It's never an actual bell, only perceived. Still, I almost always check the front door, just in case.

I'm reading Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST. A lot of my tendencies as a writer probably come from my love of Hemingway's work. I recognize that. I own it. I abandon it when necessary. A MOVEABLE FEAST isn't what I expected at all. People sometimes talk about the masculinity of Hemingway's work like it's a bad thing. I see that masculinity as honesty. (I don't mean truthfulness, as I don't think A MOVEABLE FEAST is a completely truthful account of Hemingway's early adult years.) Maybe it's because of the culture of internet writing, but a lot of the work I'm reading online values brutal honesty. These writers aren't shying away from sharing some truly nasty things about humanity, some things they could only know from experience. I don't know. Maybe I'm comparing apples to the petrified orange slices in a dish of potpourri. I don't have an MFA. Excuse my ignorance.

I don't cry all that often. Sometimes when watching movies, I cry. Last night I got accepted to a literary magazine I respect and adore so much. They even tweeted nice things about my story. I was excited all night. It was almost like being high. When I went to bed, I cried into my pillow. I mean, Jesus. Sometimes things turn out to be really important. I've had eleven stories accepted
for publication by different literary magazines. Eight of those stories have already been published. This latest acceptance makes it feel real, like those other stories weren't flukes, like maybe I'm really good at this. The story will be up in July. I'll keep you posted, of course.

My fingers smell like curry. I cooked Indian food last night. I have not showered today. I will, I promise.

I really think I want ice cream tonight. I almost said I deserved ice cream. I wonder if Hemingway ever thought he deserved ice cream. And by ice cream, I mean sex, sex, sex.

I have a story on SmokeLong Weekly. People have been curious. It's mostly fiction. I did come out to my parents when I was a teenager. That experience resembles the story but doesn't mirror it. The response from people I know has been a sort of pity. Well, no thank you. That adversity has proved invaluable.

Sometimes, the cat upstairs sounds like something bigger. Like when my neighbors leave, maybe the cat becomes something else. It sounds like there's a person up there. I know that's silly. I'm so silly. That cat, walking on its hind legs like a person, is so silly, too. It goes up and down the stairs, which are right above my head, and I swear it's wearing heels.

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From the mouths of beasts.