>I pity myself a lot. I thrash about, stay in my pajamas all day, let the laundry sit in the washing machine, refill my mug with hot water four or five times until the tea leaves have nothing left to give.
I lie down in the bath and blow bubbles. I stare at a shard of grout becoming dislodged from between the tiles. You ask me what’s wrong and I look at you like you’re the world’s biggest idiot. Same thing that’s wrong everyday, duh.
There are a hundred pieces of paper scattered on the floor of the office, each one is covered in ink, codes and symbols that mean something to me. They mean I am a terrible writer. They mean I am a coward. They mean I do not have the language to narrate the trip I took to the moon. How many people get to go to the moon? It should have been a better writer instead of me. “They should have sent a poet,” exclaims Jodie Foster to the galaxies laid out before her in that ridiculous movie Contact.
There are pieces missing and, instead of writing them, I twirl the covers around me in bed and make myself into a burrito. I stare at the TV. I spend hours feeling my heart slam into my ribs.
I am obsessed with myself. My self. Self self self self self.
And this morning, when I whimpered, having been denied validation by another literary magazine—when I said, “I can’t write a story better than this one”—you went wordlessly to our stacks of books, the ones that we don’t have shelves for yet, and flipped through all your editions of Best American Short Stories from the 90s until you found the contributors’ notes from Rick Bass and Poe Ballantine, both of whom fell into depressions, each clinging stubbornly to a story that had a fatal flaw in it that he refused to acknowledge and change, unable to fully see that flaw but ever sending it out until an editor illuminated it for him, and saved him.
I can’t believe my good luck. You cling stubbornly to me despite my flaws, my insufferable suffering!, but some part of you can see the masterpiece, and trusts me to continue to edit, explore, revise, and append until I am the best version of myself.
Or at least the version that will get us some fucking money.
Thank you for marrying me. I’ve got your back.