If you’re gonna be a writer, you’re gonna face rejection. Shit loads of it. Seriously. Agents, publishers, e-zines, they’re all going to reject you. You’ll feel like an acne-riddled, ninety-pound, knock-kneed dweeb with a cowlick and Mr. Whipple glasses wandering through some hellish sock-hop full of nothing but out-of-your-league hot chicks and football players. You’ll spot some girl clear across the gym, one that seems to be by herself, maybe just a shade less hot than the rest, and you’ll gird up your loins to make a play and take a single step in her direction, and her automatic social position protection detector will kick on, and she’ll look at you from forty paces and laugh. And then you’ll see she was alone for just a second because her boyfriend, some six-foot-four, heavily muscled Adonis, had just stepped out to take a leak, and he’ll catch you right in the middle of the gym floor, give you the Atomic Wedgie, and then stuff you upside-down in the garbage can, and your Mr. Whipple glasses will break, and you’ll have to sneak down to the locker room and get some of that white tape that real men use to wrap their ankles before earning glory on the gridiron, and you’ll tear off a chunk of that to stick the temple back on your glasses, and you’ll drive home in your primer-and-dents AMC Gremlin and go to pet your dog because dogs are faithful, you can always count on your dog, and even the dog will ignore you because he’s too busy licking his own asshole.
It’s gonna be like that. Except when it’s worse. Because this last one felt a little like a sucker punch to the junk.
See, she didn’t laugh at me. She smiled. We talked. We danced. And the music was sweet and the night was alive with promise and when the fast song was over and the lights went down and the band started in on Stairway to Heaven, she let me put my arms around her, and she didn’t even pull away when it got to the fast part, and when she said she had to go to the ladies room, it wasn’t a dodge to let me down easy, she actually came back and she stayed with me through the whole evening, and I walked her to her car. And I asked if she would be my girl.
And she said no.
See this one? It was maybe the longest no in the history of publishing. Some encouraging words a year and a half ago. Then a couple months of fence sitting. Then a no, but they swore it was a near miss, just this one subplot they didn’t like and sure, they’d love to see a rewrite. So I rewrote. And then months of nothing. And then some more encouraging words. And then some really encouraging words. And then we’re having some other people here take a look at this. And then the last, final, cruel no.
Fuck it. This is no game for pussies, I knew that going in. I can take a punch. So consider this my last whine on the matter. Spit out the blood, pack the nose, and suck in what air I can, because they’re getting ready to ring the bell and I’m going back out for more.
And yeah, I mixing my metaphors. I started out with the awkward teenage dating thing, and now I’m in the ring. Because this wallflower shit is over. I’m taking it to the motherfuckers this time. They wanna say no, they can say it from their goddamn backs, on the canvas, spitting out their own blood. Because I am going to put their lights out.