Remember that time I said I wasn’t ever going to write a novel? Something about Almighty Chiropractors and mood boards and an infantry of pugs? Me neither, actually—I’m pretty sure I blacked out while writing that particular entry. But what’s your excuse? Hmmm?
Well, call it reverse psychology, un-self-fulfilling prophecy or some other term of equal annoyance, but I’m doing it now…. kind of. It’s not a novel, per se, but it will contain many stories and be roughly book length. However, I have NO IDEA HOW TO TALK ABOUT IT with you or with anyone. Seriously, no fucking clue.
The following is a slight dramatization of real-life events. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. I left my real name because I am an untouchable baller. Plus, it feels weird to invent a fake name for yourself as an adult. I did it a lot when I was a kid, even begged my mom to call me “Aurora,” because how else would I ever grow up to be a Disney princess? In retrospect, though, thank god she didn’t. “The Beauty of the Dawn” is a serious built-in expectation. She knew better.
QUESTIONY PERSON and RAQUEL have found themselves grappling with the risky business of conversation.
QUESTIONY PERSON: So, how’s the writing going?
Raquel averts her eyes, laughs an uncomfortably loud laugh, accidentally snorts
RAQUEL: Oh, it’s fine. I’m writing a novel, kinda.
QUESTIONY PERSON: Oh, yeah? What’s it about?
RAQUEL: Umm… well. Nothing, really.
Raquel experiences a rare moment of clarity on the subject matter, which is completely indiscernible to the human eye. On a related note, isn’t it funny how stage directions that reference inaction are completely useless?
RAQUEL (CONT’D): Well, okay, it’s not really a novel. It’s more like a collection of essays. But not like a memoir. But maybe? Ugh, fuck it might be a memoir. Anyway, it’s, like, embellished non-fiction about places I’ve been and stories I’ve been hoarding over the years. They’re all kind of unified under a theme of, err.. place. Like, how it defines us and whether or not it should or whatever. You know? You totally know.
QUESTIONY PERSON: Huh. So it really is about nothing.
RAQUEL: Pretty much. Well, gotta go!
Raquel runs off before she can spew more inarticulate word vomit. In this midst of her hasty exit, she accidentally collides with a woman dressed in a full burqa.
RAQUEL: Oh, God, sorry!
BURQA WOMAN (muffled): Watch where you’re going, lady!
END OF SCENE.
At some point, I hope to speak eloquently and gracefully about my impending book. I imagine myself at a coffee shop in a gown—which no one seems to think twice about—referencing the sheer joy of writing with reverence. There will be no hint of the hours spent steeped in intense self-loathing, no residual smell of salami on my hands. I’ll wrap up a brief thought on having profound awe for all things great and small, and one of the shop’s patron will speak up.
"Wow, this book sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it! What did you say your name was again?
“Aurora,” I’ll say, with a smile.