I’m all irritable and snarly. My teeth are bothering me. But I have two things to report, and here they are:
First, I got hit by a car. I got hit by it today. What happened was, Mother phoned. She’d dreamt I’d been out more, and that made her happy, so I decided to make it true. I was loitering on the kerb, trying to decide whether to cross, and someone bumped me off the edge. I was right at the intersection, and the light had just changed, so I only got nudged, really—a tap on the elbow, then I tripped on my coat and fell under the car. It stopped. I crawled out. My trouser-cuff tore. I bruised both my knees and lost my key fob.
Can I give up now? Can I just stay inside? Should I tell Mother about the car? Oh, she’d be so disappointed…I won’t mention the car. I’ll say I went out. She’ll enjoy that.
That key fob, though…it was a microchipped one, to get in the door. I’ve a spare, but you’re supposed to say if you lose one. You get fined if you don’t, and if someone breaks in. They keep track, I suppose, who’s swiping when, and if a burglar comes in….
It’s just, they’ll charge me if I report it. A hundred dollars, I think, or one-fifty. Such a waste. Fucking car. Fucking outside.
Y’know, last time I went out, not today but last month or so, I went into a vestibule I wasn’t supposed to go into, down by the rubbish room, and I got locked in for ages. Two hours, I think. It felt like forever. I was all frightened and scurrying, and I didn’t see the sign…why would there be a place like that, a wee basement jail? What if there was a fire, or a kid got in? I mean, there was an exit, but it led out of the building, to a street I didn’t know…. I couldn’t take the chance.
Anyway, that was the first thing that happened today. The second thing was that I dreamt I was writing a sci-fi book, and my editor asked me to replace one of the characters with a dog. I did it, but I left everyone else’s dialogue as it was, everything unchanged but that one guy being a dog. It went something like this:
“Where did you live before this?”
Aziz looked away. The fire had nearly gone out.
“I’d pictured you more as a lordling,” I said, “living in a castle on some backward planet, with one man to dress you and one to brush your hair, and someone to saddle your horse.”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it. You think of a fisherman, you think red-cheeked and craggly. Saltblasted, sort of thing. Your hands are soft. And you talk like a prince.”
Aziz made a snuffling sound and jammed his nose in my crotch.
….come to think of it, I should replace one character in all my books with a dog. It’s just, I don’t know. It’s been a disappointing year for writing. I have this feeling I could do better, not in a financial sense, but in the sense of writing something I might take more pride in. Not great literature, necessarily, but a Chapters impulse buy, not a Walmart one. Something without Space Marine or Billionaire in the title. Something that doesn’t begin with a trope list and end with a beach read.
The only thing is, I’d want to stay anonymous. Are there jobs like that, though, jobs for ghostwriters, in fiction, where it’s not just filling out the same template in a hundred permutations?
Well, that’s about all for today. I got bumped by a car and I dreamt of work. About par for the course.
I need a dentist.