Reading a book until you’re physically ill

I feel sick.

I mean the kind of sick where you think you should go to the emergency room, but then you remember the last time you spent an hour on the subway to go to Columbia’s emergency room and the attending nurse just stared at you for twenty minutes without even asking your name or if you’ve been shot or were in the middle of a heart attack or anything. I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin, like I can’t focus on anything for more than three seconds. I think my body is having some adverse reaction to Claritin. I also feel like I have pneumonia. I want to sleep for a month. I think I slept about an hour last night.

I had a dream that I met up with this cheerleader from my high school. Maybe she wasn’t a cheerleader (I never went to the damn games) but she was in that crowd. But she always looked older than the rest of the kids, like she was 36 back in high school. So in the dream, I was mowing my parents’ lawn and she came over and I was trying to get her drunk. I drank one beer and she drank 11 and was suddenly my best friend. She went to IU and wondered why we never ran into each other then, or why we didn’t hit it off in high school. I didn’t explain to her that we never even talked in high school. She passed out, and while I was mowing the rest of the lawn, my friend Larry performed exploratory surgery on her, and perfectly closed her back up with fishing line. I asked him when he learned surgical techniques, and he told me they taught it to him in law school. We left her at a gas station before she woke up.

Summer Rain is finished, more or less. I hate it. I’ve read the book so many times, it makes me physically ill to even open the files now. And it sucks. I would give it a 5 out of 10, and I think it would take a year of heavy edits to get it to a 6. I just need to get the thing out of here, and finish it. I want to get back to work on Rumored to Exist, which I think has much more potential. And so does everyone else, I guess, because nobody ever reads drafts of Summer Rain. I don’t blame them – it’s 500 pages of mediocrity.

I mean, you should still buy a copy when it comes out. Just don’t read it. Like that copy of Pale Fire you’ve never opened.


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