Denial (August 30-Day Writing Challenge)

In Fiction on August 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM

(5th in this challenge)

When I died, at least he drank a cup of coffee before writing his book about our love.

He typed the beginning into his phone as they bagged me, asked the hospital to phone and tell my parents who phoned and told some of our friends who phoned and told his parents. When they all arrived, they hugged him one by one, saying, “You must be in shock!” because that’s the only way they could explain to themselves why he was so focused on writing on his phone. He nodded to them while silently revising the last sentences he’d written, sighing at their distracting.

He dictated to his phone when he drove or worked out or was too lazy to type. It’s unreliable auto-correct inspired funnier, exaggerated scenes (all included in the published book).

I read the published book.

I was upset that he called me 5’11 and that no one corrected him (I was 5’11 and 3/4ths).

I was upset that he forgot my eye-color and that he switched my best friend’s name to one with that of the childhood dog I liked the least (and that no one said a word).

I was upset that he wrote all of our trips as lasting one day less (Facebook albums were there to prove him wrong).

I was upset that he never mentioned my former fiancé, who I kissed again not-so-secretly while we were dating and who I considered falling in love with again one afternoon. (My former fiancé read the book and laughed through many passages and never thought about his absence. I thought about his absence even before I died.)

And did no one notice that the funniest lines were things that I regularly had said?!

There were other parts that upset me on nearly every page but finally there were two reasons to be genuinely upset and I couldn’t decide which the better reason was:

  1. That I couldn’t write a reaction book and ride the same best-seller wave that even my worst books had enjoyed (cackling at him as it sold) OR
  2. That I’d already written a book about our love but couldn’t rewrite it. (It had been a best-seller, then a high-grossing, oft-quoted romantic-comedy shown in theaters all over the world, then played on certain cable channels regularly by popular demand. His book would not have been so popular without mine.) I had written it as the romantic-comedy it was not. I could’ve corrected myself and written truer to life but you can’t depress your readers.

Maybe I felt this was more depressing two nights ago when I originally wrote it than it is. Once again, I wrote off track, but my feelings toward it immediately inspired two less moody pieces, the one I posted yesterday (KNOWLEDGE) and the one I’ll post tomorrow (HAZE). It’s funny how the moodiest inspire more than their antidote pieces. This is probably the most fun I’ve had writing for myself. I’ve been too focused on the same pages of the same writing projects that it’s good to free myself.

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