Monday, April 02, 2007

What Wonderful Wonderful News

Isn't it terrific that my friend Pat Daugherty's computer is on the edge of extinction and that he has spent the past week under the long shadow of the "blue screen of death," extracting his "life's work" from the computer one fragment at a time.

Had he been run over by a truck that would have been slightly less terrific -- though still terrific -- because I spent the last week anguishing over Pat's silence concerning my novel, the first copy of which (and I mean literally a copy; a printout) I delivered into his hands ten days ago.

What I required of him was simple: Say he liked it. It took me 30 years to finish the damn thing, and I have no intention of recasting it, rethinking it, discarding it and starting anew.

Ninety percent approval and 10 percent truth. That's the recipe.

Forty-eight hours past the Blessed Arrival, Pat called me to say he liked it and that he was confident that, as a reader, he was in good hands.

Then a week of silence.

I told my wife that probably Pat was probably experiencing stomach-turning distaste and was in agony, faced with the dilemma of liking the writer and hating the written.

My wife said oh come on. The universe doesn't twist on your spindle. Stuff comes up.

I emailed Pat and learned: Stuff has come up.

I have no doubt I can handle the truth, as I can handle cat excrement and hot candle wax. It's just that I don't want to handle it.

A cynic would say:

You become such a coward you'll grab at any lousy excuse to get out of killing your pipe dreams. And yet, as I've told you over and over, it's exactly those damned tomorrow dreams which keep you from making peace with yourself

-- Hickey in The Iceman Cometh, Act 3

That's Hickey, the wife killer and the buzz killer. He's just being mean. I feel very very peaceful.

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