Kevin Spaides Comments
I have a little red book I write things down in. When I write a story I record its title in my book along with the date I wrote it. Why do I do this? Sometimes I open the book and scan the list and think, Right, right, OK. It comforts me to see all those dates. One after the other. Progress is being made, apparently. I have been busy. Or at least it kind of looks that way. On paper.
According to my little book of story birthdays, I wrote these three stories in the same week. There was work done after that, of coursea lot of shouting, swearing, storming out of rooms, not to mention all those midnight conference callsbut they were born around the same time and they go together. They complement each other. Together they add up to a perfect 180 degrees. All right, Im not crazy enough for perfectioncant get away with using a word like that anymorebut they form an area of their own. A weird polygon. Yes, a triangle is a polygon.
I dont think I was on drugs or any sort of medication at the time but my memories of that week are foggy. I can read Angel of Death (isnt that a great title for a story about a waiter?) and wonder, Was this writer under some sort of stress? Was there something bothering this person, something hes not telling us? I mean, how else to account for, I feel like they need reminding. That line surprised me. Even gave me the willies. I mean, who in the world do I think I am? It also made me laughbut it was a furtive, over-the-shoulder laughter. Not that theres anything behind me worth looking at or worrying about. Theres just a special brand of fear you get when you dont know who you are and theres evidence of it right there in front of your face and you want as many people as possible to look at it, review it, revel in it, preferably complete strangers. But thats what writing is about. Partly. Not quite knowing who you are and then knowing even less than you did before you wrote your story but feeling like youve discovered something. Or do I have that backwards? Knowing more but feeling like you know less? Its confusing and annoying, yes. Hopefully theres more to itlike having some funbut its true you happen upon the weird now and again. Digging around, you loosen things up and something smelly and slimy and amazingly awful slips out onto your hand. If thats an exaggeration, or sounds like bullshit, well, my time will come, Im sure.
The other two stories are more light-hearted, I think. Well, kind of. Or at least theyre not about a waiter who fancies himself the angel of death. But still: Wed only gotten married because it meant nothing. Oh my God!
I hope you like these stories, and, for the record, I am a happy, well-adjusted slave.
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