Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it.
The Story of How I Am about to Die
As I encourage the kids to write, I watch the snow pile up. The library pays me to spend two hours a month working with them. Last month, I was pushing twenty kids, eating the sweets the library puts out and excitedly plotting a universe. Today, I have five and two are shy strangers intimidated by the main groups' talk of an anthology.
Over all, I have genuine respect and affection for these kids. I do not think I was as driven as they are when I was their age. I would love to catalyze the creation of a truly stunning author to entertain me in my dotage. I see endless potential in them. Their parents and teachers have fostered liberal interest and genuine confidence.
This is not my immediate concern today, however. As I watch the snow coat a car outside the window, I begin writing a story in my head, the story of how I am about to die. As I plot out the things I have to do, I tell this same story often. The more tragic, heavy-handed plot points circumstance has pulled in, the more likely I am about to meet my doom.
Here I stand, working with darling teenagers while my pixie of a wife plots out the first Valentine's Day of our marriage. The night before, from morbid necessity, we conversationally discussed the preferred outcome of our bodies post-mortem. Now, the snow piles up. Too many factors have aligned against me. I will never make it home alive.
I acknowledge that this is a sort of magical thinking. Logically, I can tell myself that nothing will happen, that there's nothing to be worried about, but I'm too much of a writer to accept that sometimes the unfortunate does happen. Sometime, reality is a bastard. I badly do not want to word "ironically" in my obituary.
However, my neuroses offer me an out. If I consider how ridiculous this obituary will look, how utterly on the nose this all seems, and thus drive at a snail's pace and refrain from taking any road less travelled, perhaps I won't careen into a telephone pole.
Soon in Xenology: More timely entries?