Monday, January 08, 2007

Random book excerpt

My legs feel like jello. I wobble.

For just a moment.

Just a moment.

My hand shoots out, and it grips the edge of the closet doorway. It fumbles around. Fingers twitch like spider legs, looking for something solid, something to cling to. There’s a black hole swirling behind me, and it wants to devour me, and more than me, more than my flesh, it wants to devour my mind, my consciousness, my soul, my very reason to go on living.

The spider legs scrambling up the wall, my left leg disappears. Gone. The world turns sideways, and I’m reminded of call centre suddenly, of spinning, of losing direction, of losing focus, of losing track of who I am. And then the floor hits me on the side of the head and everything goes white.

Then grey.


Then black.

No, I think.

Fuck no.

Not black, I think.

I try to call for Jamie. My own mushmouth makes a bubbling noise. My throat is a sewage line, backed up with rotting, stinking death. I’m choking on a week of consciousness, I’m choking on desperation.

“Help me…” The words slip out on my breath, as light as a breeze. Intangible. I can feel them blowing away the moment they’re out, like smoke.

There’s a noise down the hall.

“What the fuck are you doing man?”

Jamie’s watching The Sopranos, I guess. Or pay-per-view. Or, I don’t know, uncensored episodes of Jerry Springer.

“I heard a crash. Is everything all right?”

I answer the television. I say “No, everything is not alright,” or I try to at any rate. But the only noise coming out of my mouth is some sort of grunting, wheezing hybrid. And besides, I was talking to the television.

And still, everything is black.

I try to open my eyes, but they’re sealed shut. There is not a force on this earth that could open these eyes.

Even in the darkness, the world spins. I feel it spinning around me, and then it’s more than the world. Suddenly I can feel every planet – Mercury and Mars and Venus and Neptune and…fuck, I don’t know, how many planets are there, anyway? Nine? Ten? Twelve? They keep finding new ones. Everytime you turn on the TV there’s a new planet. And I don’t know all their names, but they’re spinning around me, the sun is spinning around me, and all those planets we know of, all twelve or twenty, and all the ones we don’t, or twelve or twenty thousand or million or trillion, at this moment, every one of them is spinning around me as well. For just a fraction of an instant, I am in the center of the universe, and the universe is spinning a circle around me, staring at me, watching me. Every living thing on every planet with a living thing has its eyes on me, holding my breath, because this is my moment.

This is the most important moment of my life.

And I’m about to fall asleep and miss it.

And as soon as I do, as soon as I drift off into unconsciousness, then the laugh track will start. They’ll all have a good laugh at my expense, and I’ll be too deep into the darkness to notice or hear or really give a damn.

And there’s no escape.

I don’t even feel the floor anymore.

I’m floating.

I’m floating in this blackness, and this blackness wraps its arms around me, and it is so peaceful, it’s so amazingly warm and quiet and restful, and I’m so fucking happy to be here right now. I’ve wanted this moment for so long that it no longer matters what I’m giving up to be here. It’s worth it. Oh God, it’s worth it.

And then I’m gone.

And then I’m not.

Then there are hands.

Hands on my shoulder.

They’re picking me up.

And the world stops spinning and the black turns to ash, then grey, then white, and something dissolves whatever was gluing my eyes closed, and they open, and I’m blind it’s so bright in this room, and there hands sliding me backwards, and they’re setting me back against the bed, and then there’s a voice that sounds like what ever was on television, and it says: “What the fuck happened in here?”

And I realize it’s Jamie.

And I say, “I fell down.”

I say, “I think I almost fell asleep.”

And he laughs and he says, “Well, shit, if I’d known that I would have left you alone. But you made suck a fucking racket that I thought you’d hurt yourself.”

And I wonder if I have hurt myself.

I still can’t quite feel my legs.

I know my arms are there, because I can see them. But they seem disconnected. They seem to belong to someone else. I try to move my arm, to lift my arm straight up, and dose a crazy wobbling jig sideways and my smacks Jamie in the shin.

He looks at me.

“What?” he asks me.

He thinks I was trying to get his attention.

Maybe I was.

“Make me some coffee,” I say. “I’ve got to get dressed.”

Can't say if there's anything terribly good in this batch of text quoted from the novel-in-progress, but here it is anyway, just to verify that I am at least trying to maintain my new year's resolution to write on *something* each and every day this year. Although, sure, yeah, I could have written this in December and just posted it here until now, it's not like anyone would know.

But I would. And I'd feel bad about lying to you. And that just wouldn't cut it.

I'm about to try to push my way through an awkward portion of the book. I know sort of what has to happen in this next chunk of text, until the end of the current chapter, because I know exactly how the next chapter begins -- I know it so well, in fact, that I wrote it months ago, right after I started the novel. I knew that this next chapter was going to happen eventually. I just wasn't sure when.

I'm not sure, at last, that it's the next chapter. And I know, sort of, more or less, what I have to go through to get to that chapter. But the details...the details are hazy.

So I'm nervous. I'm not sure I want to just dive in and wing it because, as much as that has worked for me in the past, it also has sort of a tendency to steer off my original course. And while that can be fun sometimes too, getting steered off my original course might not be so good when I have a fantastic plan for exactly how the next chapter should start.

So I'll probably do what I usually do when I bump into trouble like this. Avoid the novel for a couple of days. After all, even though I've resolved to write every day, I still have at least three other things I can dump words on.

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