The Virtues of Carbonite

Words has it “Wire Chest” will be up at Alice Blue, June 1. So, go there and read it. If it happens not to be June 1 yet, your life just got more complicated. Like hoverboards, affordable electric cars, and a razor that won’t irritate my delicate face, my story is only available in the future. Get yourself a rare Irish concept car, some garbage and some lightning, and we’ll figure something.

But I don’t wanna push you. I’m ok with you waiting till June 1. Really. I’m not making a big deal about it. You are. You always do this. I don’t even know why.

Just looked at proofs today. So much anxiety. Publication is a stressful thing. Not just the process of writing, the act of unburdening yourself of this idea and these characters that have somehow wedged themselves between your heart and soul — which, I don’t really know where that is. I think I’ve mentioned before, but I’m not a doctor. Until a recent mistake at the deli, I honestly thought heart, like it’s Valentine’s Day portrayals, actually tastes somewhere between chocolate and cinnamon. Which it does not unless your blood type is Hot Tamale.

And beyond the writing, there’s the endless rejection. Like it’s the month before prom all year long.

But the stress comes from somewhere else. From those proofs. Until that moment, my story was fluid, flexible, alive. Each time a rejection came I could move some words around, insert profanity, make my protagonist, who is a young boy, a milk man.

But at that moment, staring at the proof, like Leia watching Han being lowered into the carbonite freezing chamber,

I was seeing my words in their final resting place. Frozen, for better or for worse, in the last place I’d placed them.

Like taxidermy, if anyone has ever loved the turkey, bobcat of jackelope they’re stuffing.

But you know, I’ve learned you just gotta let your story go. You gotta let it get on that school bus, even if there are wedgies, and comic books with a little too much violence, rap music and hardcore drugs, because whether we like it or not, wherever you find comic books you’re gonna find a couple needles and a little bit of powder.

Because both your story and you have to move on.

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