The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 17 – EDITS

Posted: August 18, 2013 in The NERVOUS STOMACH Series

Friday, January 04, 2008

The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 17 – EDITS
Current mood: Cold!
Category: Cold! Life

I’m fifty-six and really regretting that I didn’t sign up for the early retirement my manager offered last year.  In the July sunshine, it seemed like a crappy deal, with 30% of my salary for the rest of my life and no health-care benefits.  But here on a freezing, pitch-black-at-7-a.m., Upstate New York winter morning, I’m rethinking my decision. 

I should be throwing back the covers, working the arthritis out of my knees, heading to the shower, then heading to work — but it’s warm in my bed under the down comforter my sister gave me at Christmas.  I stay.

I hear the snow plow scraping against the bricks in the neighbor’s driveway and the creaking of my worn-out roof overhead.  The weather man (the really cute one with the crinkly dimples) predicted possibly two feet of snow overnight; the continued scraping and the overloud creaking confirms that this prediction may have been accurate. 

My fluffy Eskimo dog, a Spitz-Husky named Cooper, bounds toward the bed, coaxing me to get up.  I resist, although I accept his enthusiastic licking of my face.

The scene explodes when the creaking above us becomes a groan, a screech, then a terrific ripping sound.  Ceiling tiles, support beams, and bitterly-cold snow race to see who they can wipe out first, me or Cooper.  

My reaction is equally explosive.  I flip sideways, pitching the comforter over Cooper as we both hit the floor.  I’m pleased that I lost at least three of the seven pounds I gained over the holidays, because I’m able to fit both myself and my dog under the solid oak frame of this bed I inherited from my Aunt Margey, the aunt who used to watch The Incredible Hulk and eat Mexican sundaes with me on Friday nights.  The bed, from a different, more solid generation of furniture, might have withstood the beating of the collapsing roof on its own.  But today, it’s aided by several supporting stacks of paper — old versions of my unpublished memoir — which I shoved underneath my bed in a grand preservation effort.  

I could have thrown those old copies away, with their too-long chapters, with their red-inked pages full of crossouts and rewrites.  But something nostalgic and overly compulsive in me clings to each edit, as though each were a precious piece in an unfinished puzzle.  

Later, after the rescue crew pulls us out (Cooper smothering each of their faces with licky enthusiasm), after the AP picks up the local paper’s article “One Writer’s Edits Save Two Lives”, after my rising-in-fame memoir (with a picture of me and Cooper on the book flap) creeps closer to the bestseller list, I have the supreme satisfaction of calling my manager and tendering my two-week notice. 

For FUN, I put my stuff at
For SERIOUS, I put my stuff at 
I invite you to visit my stuff.



Currently   listening :
  Avenue Q (2003   Original Broadway Cast)
  By Jeff Marx
  Release date: 07 October, 2003     

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