I'm not normally a superstitious person, but ever since I was a little girl, I've been afraid to talk out loud about things I want, because if I did--if I said it out loud--then something would inevitably happen to keep me from getting it.
I think this has something to do with that time I told Santa I wanted a cow for Christmas, and instead we had roast beef, and every time my grandmother carved off a slice, my brother (who had been eavesdropping during the whole Santa thing), would go, "Moooooooooo."
And then you have to remember that we were very poor when I was growing up, and most of the money my mom got from my dad in terms of child support went to tuition so we could have a private school education, even though the education wasn't that great, and then Tabitha stole Adena's Maxie doll and blamed it on me, so of course we had to replace it, only we couldn't afford to replace it, so my mother made me take back my lone birthday present to exchange for the Maxie doll, even though everybody knew it was THAT BITCH TABITHA WHO STOLE IT, but no one would say anything, because she was a somebody because her parents had money, and OH MY GOD should I pay you for that therapy session now, or can my insurance settle up with you later, because really, I think I've had a breakthrough. Let's meet same time on Tuesday, only I get to be the therapist and you get to have the breakdown, OK? OK!
But the gist is, I really loved my Wedding Day Midge, and the moment I said so, Tabitha ruined everything. So I guess in hindsight, I think that has A LOT TO DO WITH IT.
Even now that I'm older, it's still hard to get over that childhood fear that if I say something out loud, a SWAT team of boogeymen demonfolk--or, you know, TABITHA--will try their damnedest to grab it for themselves and piss it away, and then point and laugh because HOW FOOLISH WAS I TO HAVE WANTED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT?
You know, because that's what boogeymen demonfolk and people like Tabitha DO.
There are a few things I'm especially hesitant to discuss with others: faith, romance, and writing. I know at least a few of you were hoping 'cat shit' and 'my uterus' would be on that list, so I'm sorry to disappoint you. Pray hard! Maybe next year!
The writing thing is probably the biggest hot button in the world. Sometimes you can tap it and NOTHING HAPPENS. And sometimes you can tap it and OH GOD WHY ARE YOU BEING SO MEAN TO ME? I imagine this is even more confusing for those people to whom I talk about everything, all the time, because one minute I'll be like "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS NEW BOOK I STARTED" and the next minute I'm all "YOU SNEEZED WHILE I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT THE PLOT SO MUST REALLY HATE THE IDEA OMIGOD YOU DO HATE THE IDEA DON'T YOU I COMPLETELY SUCK WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS MY GOD GET OVER IT ALREADY I QUIT I'M GOING TO GET A JOB AT BURGER KING DID YOU SEE THAT COMMERCIAL WHERE THE SOCK MONKEY GOT A TATTOO IS HE HOT OR WHAT MRROWR."
That last line, by the way, could totally double as my autobiography.
After enough of those outbursts--which happen every Tuesday, more or less--most people either learn to ignore them and accept them as part of the lovable neuroses that make me unique, or stay out of my way because I'm fucking nuts, depending on whether they look at me and see a glass half full, or a glass half full of EEK! EEK! EEK! batshit insanity.
I think it's one of those self-preservation things you learn as you get older, because these kids I go to school with? They'd poke a sleeping bear with a sharp stick, just to ask it repeatedly what it's doing.
And then laugh when it mauled them.
This morning, I was searching for zen in my happy place, when a kid from psychology class sidles up to me and asks, "What are you doing?"
"Typing," I tell him.
He takes a seat. "Homework?"
"Well, what is it?" He's looking over my shoulder now. "Is it dirty?"
"It's a book," I say. "I'm writing a book."
"Cool," he says. Then he pauses for a moment. "So, is it dirty?"
I sigh. "Yes," I tell him. "It's dirty."
"Cool." Another pause. "Can I read it?"
"Because it's not finished."
"When will it be finished?"
I sigh. "I don't know," I tell him. "Probably April."
"That's a long time," he says, letting out a low descending whistle.
"Books take a long time to write."
He's still looking at my laptop screen. "So you have to type out every... single... word..."
"So... how do you do it?"
"How do you do what?"
"How do you write a book?"
"Well, you have to have absolute silence."
"And then you have to think of an idea."
"OK. Idea. Got it."
"And then you write down what you're thinking about."
"Uh-huh," he says. And we're left in silence for almost a minute. Then he says, "What are you doing now?"
"I'm thinking of an idea."
I start typing again.
"And now you're writing it down."
"You got it."
"Wow," he says. "That's the most boring thing I've ever seen anyone do, ever."
"Yeah?" I said. "Imagine what the person watching you feels like."
The kid is laughing at me now, because we're in psychology class and we're supposed to be learning stuff, but here I am typing up a blog entry on my Macbook about how he annoys the shit out of me with his constant pestering in the wee hours of the morning, and sldkw--SEE! HE'S STILL DOING IT!
I mock you with love, Bryan. I mock you with love.
ETA: Bryan just caught me at lunch and said, "DUDE, I just now got the part about you needing absolute silence to write a book! I talk too much, don't I?"
DUDE. YOU DO.
But in a good way!