That’s what I thought this morning when I went to buy a new MetroCard (which gets me on the subway, which takes me from Queens into Manhattan) because I couldn’t find my old one when I was leaving the house. I pulled out my wallet to pay for the new card…and discovered the old one sitting there. So I cancelled the transaction, walked over to the turnstiles, swiped the card…and discovered it was down to only a few cents. (The fare’s $2.50.) So I turned back to the ticket machine for a new card just like before.
Certainly it felt like a metaphor for something.
Meanwhile, I’m headed to Canada in three weeks, for a self-directed writing residency at the Banff Centre (and an all-around vacation), and it’s starting to feel a whole lot of real. I’m now having to plan around in very specific ways for work, not just in vague “oh, I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks in some distant future time.” October, when I get back, is almost certainly going to be very busy — not least of all because I’m planning another trip, this time for work, to Texas — leading right into a massively busy end of the year. But I am determined not to let that trouble me, or worry about what my in-box and to-do list are going to look like when I return. The work computer will definitely not be going with me to Canada.
My plans for the weekend are modest. I plan to spend it writing, mostly. I have one very short piece out for consideration right now — and dear lord, it’s only been three weeks, but is this the kind of nerve-wracking wait I put people through who submit to Kaleidotrope?! — but it would be nice to get more things actually finished and out there.
Oh, and speaking of Kaleidotrope, I thought I’d throw this out here as well: I’m looking for more artwork, mostly for covers (the front page), and I’m paying more for it (up to $60). I’m eager to see science fiction, fantasy, and horror-themed artwork, either brand new or in the artist’s online galleries. So if you or someone you know draws, paints, creates, please feel free to check out the the guidelines. I’m still closed to submissions to everything else until January, but I’m making an exception for art. (In no small part because I’ve hit the limits of my own artistic talents.)
Last week. This week:
- There ain’t nobody that can sing like me
- Bartender turned on a movie
- Now every new love is just a shadow
- Every hollow has its favorite sound
- How did I become so obnoxious?
- You don’t stare at the man on the bus with the voices in his head
- If this was the cold war we could keep each other warm
- Wake up, mama, turn your lamp down low
- But you don’t really care for music, do you?
- Them knuckles are pale
It’s been a weekend.
I wrote some yesterday, and then again some today. In between that, I watched Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock’s last movie. I’m not entirely sure the film works, and in fact it’s kind of a mess, but it’s not altogether unenjoyable. Bruce Dern and William Devane are both a lot of fun, and you certainly couldn’t accuse Hitchcock of not being an audacious filmmaker, even when it doesn’t quite pay off for him.
Anyway, the stuff I wrote yesterday is still a work in progress I probably won’t post here. The stuff I wrote today was with my free-writing group and is more just a scene:
She stands at the edge of the river, hugging herself against the morning’s cold, and looks for the slow rise of smoke to begin in the distance. The cell in her pocket will start ringing soon after that, but for now she just tries to enjoy the quiet, tries wrapping it as close to herself as her thin sweater, or the blanket she left with the rest of her gear back down the road in her car. No sounds but the whisper of the water and the distant call of birds that, even after five years in these woods, she doesn’t recognize. She knows that soon it will evaporate, this early morning hush, fly away from her like the birds themselves, like the dust of her former life scattered in the wind. She knows that this moment, like all the rest before it, will pass. The more you tighten your grip, the more it slips through your fingers, she thinks, remembering Edward’s words. There’s a sadness in that, but also a strange satisfaction. And so she stands by the river, scouting the horizon for smoke, the curl of black among the distant trees, and waits for the call that will tell her that Edward is dead.
She knows she should be moving. She should head back down the hill now to the car and drive — in any direction, north across the border, where they’re likely to start looking, or south, if she thinks she can navigate around the quarantine zone. She doesn’t think they’ll be afraid to look for her there, especially not if it’s Edward’s people in addition to the police — but the thought of seeing it all again — the ruined towns, if not the things that ruined them — gives HER a shiver, and she knows a move like that could only buy her time. She’s only losing time here. She ought to move. Casey can call to tell her it’s done just as easily from the road. Laura doesn’t need to see the smoke to know the cabin is finally ablaze. Just like she doesn’t need to see what Casey’s done to Edward to know the bastard is finally gone.
And then she does see it, the smoke at least, and she smiles.
Last week. This week:
- “Straight Outta Compton” by Nina Gorton (orig. N.W.A.)
Here’s a murder rap to keep you dancin’
- “Lipstick Vogue” by Elvis Costello
Don’t say you love me when it’s just a rumor
- “Lonely Teardrops” by Jackie Wilson, guessed by Occupant
You know my heart does nothing but burn
- “”Trouble Every Day” by Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, guessed by Clayton
Take your TV tube and eat it
- “Puddle of Grace” by Amy Jo Johnson
Have you seen yourself today?
- “Once a Gambler” by Lightnin’ Hopkins
That’s the reason I don’t have no sweet woman
- “Sarah” by Ray LaMontagne
Eyes closed tight, throwing punch after punch at the world
- “Stranger” by Electric Light Orchestra
Lookin’ at the all-night dancer
- “Honey Bee” by Tom Petty, guessed by Betty
I’m the king of Milwaukee
- “Elephant Gun” by Beirut
If I was young I’d flee this town
Today I somehow managed to cut my hand with my other hand — not badly, but I did somehow gouge my palm with my thumbnail, then later accidentally get hand sanitizer in the wound. (If you’re wondering, does that hurt? I’m surprised you didn’t hear my manly screams from there.)
I also got a new computer at work, which so far has been wonderful. It’s the most recent version of office, which will take some getting used to, mostly in the new Outlook. (I’ve used the newest Word and Excel before, if maybe not frequently.)
And that was pretty much my day. It hasn’t been the most eventful of weeks.