April 12th, 2007


naaaarg can't write anymore

My inner critic--one of them, at least--is a thin, bespectacled middle-aged man with combed-back hair--like an Asian Mr. Morris in a black long-sleeved shirt. He sits flamingo-legged in a chair in front of a collapsible metal desk, studying what I have written with bemused, sardonic interest.

"Hmm," he says occasionally. "Hmm. Oh. Really."

Finally he lets the manuscript fall onto his lap. "Kevin, I hate to break this to you," he says, spreading his arms helplessly, "but this is horse shit. I wish there was somewhere I could go with this, but...this isn't a one-act. It's a quarter-act. It's a four AM emotional breakdown in fifteen pages."

"I got tied up," I protest. "I had other commitments. And I've been going through a lot of shit this week."

"That's no excuse," he says. "You know that. I feel your pain--I really do--but you gotta come through. And you didn't." He slaps the manuscript onto the desk and pushes it back to me--his stare is not disapproving, but mock-sympathetic, like a father hiding his disappointment. "I'm sorry, but playing nethack all day does not count as a valid personal commitment.

"Come back when you have something I can work with," he says gently. "Don't waste my time with material like this."

"Thank you, sir," I say meekly.

"And Kevin?"--says he, as I walk out the door--"if you aren't strong enough to handle this line of work--stick to programming."

"Thank you, sir," I repeat.

"Don't call me 'sir,'" he says.