I recall the morning precisely. I awoke to the rapid succession of light taps of rain upon my window. I had fallen asleep in my tattered bathrobe, which was not uncommon, with my reading glasses on and a copy of Jim Thompson’s A Hell of a Woman beside my sprawled out body. I propelled myself upwards while ineffectively messing with my disheveled thinning hair.
Off to the kitchen I went, as I did first thing every morning, to make the coffee that I prepped the night before. It was more ritual than routine. When the perking commenced, I would begin my hunt. The exploration for my morning slippers was also something of a tradition and a surprising one at that as they were never in the same place. Once I found them in the bathtub. Once outside my apartment door, the list is endless.
Two Sugars with Milk. That’s a great title by the way. On a slightly irrelevant but endlessly interesting side note, I’ve been buying that 2% organic because the expiration date says the milk somehow lasts a month. I don’t know if this is even possible. It used to be you were lucky if milk lasted a week. The truth is, I don’t want to know how it works. Maybe it’s all a conspiracy and I’ll die from the stuff. Twenty years ago I might have cared—now, not so much. Imagine that? Death by Milk. Great title. I digress.
Hot coffee in hand, I made my way over to my writing desk. In doing so I bypassed hundreds upon hundreds of rejection letters that I have chosen to plaster upon my walls. I’m lying. It’s thousands. Perseverance, after all, is the name of the game.
My desk is situated directly in front a window so that when I am stuck or having writer’s block I can peer out and ponder while glaring at the shithole that is downtown Manhattan. It’s actually not that bad, I just want to murder the people some days—mostly the tourists. For the record, I don’t actually interact with them; I just judgingly look at them from above.
Anyway, I placed my coffee down on the one of two coasters I own and took a seat. On the desk is my typewriter, which I acknowledge is outdated but I couldn’t care in the least. The rhythm and sound of the thing is like a war drum and any author knows that when you’re knee deep in a project, you are engaged in a linguistic battle between protagonist and antagonist. Then you step back and realize you were both of those people. Then you question your sanity.
Also on my desk is a glass jar filled with pens, pencils, highlighters, and sharpies, a pile of marble notebooks that are filled with notes and ideas, an ashtray that I believe I have never cleaned out once, and a crappy salt rock lamp that someone who doesn’t understand a thing about me once bought me. In spite of that factual tidbit, I could use the light, and so I do. These are all the things that I require to write. Later on in the day you can add a rock glass with ice and some hooch but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I write, and have a vehement passion for, crime fiction. My heroes in life are C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercule Poirot. I believe the genre transcends humanity as any great possession ever obtained in the history of mankind can be traced back to some sort of crime.
Each morning before the writing ritual takes place, I look over to my right where my bookcase towers over me and I glare at some of my publications. Granted, I’ve never had a New York Times bestseller or even a major publishing contract but I have been accepted into a couple literary magazines over the years. And so I look at those publications standing upright on my bookshelf, well I try to but they’re so goddamn flimsy I could never get them to look very statuesque. My point was that I take a gaze every morning before I sit to write because they act as a reminder that I have had a modicum of success and that, in turn, fuels me for the rest of the day. I’m aware it’s nothing crazy, nothing impressive. But nonetheless I am a published author. Just looking for my big break.
I’ve also had some works featured in online magazines, which is the new thing nowadays. I go to the website once in a while to make sure the goddamn thing is still there. If the site ever disappeared no one would know I had a story featured and so I took shitty pictures on my mobile device for proof.