Closure v.1.0 pt 2

The second part of the five part first chapter of Perpetual Tuesday, which I rejected and rewrote the other day. This isn’t so much a sneak peek as a glimpse of what might have been. I may post all five parts, though the last part is very, very naughty. We’ll see. ~Lee.

“The last thing I need now,” she said, ”is for my old man to start doing my homework for me. And besides, it took me three years to figure out I could write without your help. My problem now is, I’m afraid I can’t top Enlightenment, and every time I try, I realize I’m just repeating myself.”

“Every writer finds themselves in that position before too long,” he’d told her. “All it takes is a little too much insularity and a little too much fame, and before you know it, you’re second guessing every idea or paragraph you come up with. It’s difficult to know where to start, when you’re aware of being watched.”

“Great stuff, Professor, but how do I break out of it?” she snapped, exasperated.

“First, you’ve got to get everything else that’s on your mind out of the way. This sometimes requires that you get up a little early and bust your ass to have all your other shit settled, so you can forget about it all and focus on writing. Next, you have to stop making excuses, park your ass in front of the keyboard, and start putting words on the page. If it’s a first draft, you need to try not to sweat the phrases and perfect word choices. That’s what revisions are all about. Finally, only edit yourself if you get lost and need to work your way back into the story, and only in limited amounts. Ideally, you shouldn’t edit yourself at all. Just type, baby. Whatever comes into your head. The wrong words sometimes lead to the right ones, though you may have to scrap a lot of dross to come up with the goods.”

“Hmmn,” she’d answered finally, nodding slowly, reluctantly.

“You don’t believe me,” he stated flatly.

“Sure I do,” she replied. “I just have no idea how someone who knows so much about the process has so much trouble doing the work himself. When are you going to get to work on your next novel?”

“I have about a dozen novel ideas waiting for me to get to work on them, but right now, I really want to get this album sorted out and made.”

“Oh, the album… how long have you been planning this album? Twenty years?”

“I think I had the dream for this album a about twenty two years ago, around the time I designed the first logo and wrote the first songs intended for it.”

“Then what in the world makes you think it’s actually necessary to do it? The music you recorded for it is almost as old, am I right? And you’re just going to have to get the band together to play it again, because the original recordings are all flat and shitty. And you can’t get the band back together, because they don’t want to play with you any more. So what’s the point?” she asked matter-of-factually.

“Unfinished business,” he answered briskly, and then thought better of it. “The point is, I promised myself I’d do this thing. It’s a big project, yes, but I really need to make the album, so I can put all of this stuff to bed and focus on new things.”

“See, I don’t understand why you don’t just cut and run. The new stuff will probably be better than the old stuff, and if you release the old material, you won’t be able to borrow from the old stack when you need to.”

“It all feels like it’s meant to be part of something else. The jams, the songs written for the band
it’s all part of a life that needs to be put in order, if I’m ever going to move on without constantly looking over my shoulder.”

“What are you worried about? Think Drake will come out of the dark night to strike you down?”
“No no, nothing like that. Drake talks a lot of shit, but he’s really a pretty passive guy, when you get down to it. No, it’s about keeping promises. I promised so many things to so many people, and really, I can’t do it all at once, or even do most of it during my lucid moments. I just need to clear the decks of my old ambitions. It’s like all of those unfinished novels I keep swearing I’ll finish, except that the only person I promised to finish those is myself.”

“Fuck you!” she snapped. “I’ve been waiting to read those stories too, you know, and I’m not the only one asking. You have fans, and an agent and an editor who are all waiting on you. That should count for more than a bunch of ancient music that wasn’t good enough to make into songs the first time around. Why bother now?”

“The fact that the band didn’t pick up on a number of my best songs argues that there might be more gems in there than the band realized on the day. I can’t turn my back on this stuff. It’s just as important that I finish with the Distance and move on as it is that I start the next novel. There will always be more novels to write, but there may not be a better time to record this album. Progressive Rock is bigger now than it’s been in almost thirty-five years. A triple album of this stuff could only be marketable in times like these. I need to get it done and put it out while there’s a chance to make it really successful. I don’t want to get caught in another punk era with a triple album of Prog.”

“It won’t happen like that again,” she dismissed. “What will most likely happen is, people will hear your album and walk away from it, because they only want the band as a whole, or not at all. They want Dana and Julia and Reg, and Drake and Randy, for that matter. They won’t buy another Richard solo album in disguise. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. You’re wasting your breath, babe.”

“I can’t just throw away the lot. The story is coming together, and the lyrics are getting smarter with every rewrite. I just need to focus and get all the elements right this time, and then when I record it, it won’t be so difficult, and I won’t have another flawed album that everyone and their dog turn away from. I believe that this stuff I’m working on is the best music The Distance ever made. And I need to make this album. I wish you could understand that.”

“Well,” she said, “I can understand why Kara didn’t want you back, at any rate. When you get a big idea in your head, you’re fucking impossible.”

“Maybe so,” he admitted, frowning, “but at least I know what I want to do with the rest of my life, which is more than I can say for where I was at two years ago.”

“So that’s your excuse for all of this obsessive behavior? You’re just gonna chalk it all up to ‘Unfinished Business’ and press on, no matter how stupid it seems?”

“Pretty much, yup. Love me or leave me,” he sighed.

“Well, if one of us is leaving, it’s you,” she grumbled. “I own this condo, and I’ll be damned if I’m the one who winds up on the street because you won’t listen to reason.”

“Are you asking me to leave?” he asked, saddened at the thought that it had come to this.

“No, baby. You drive me nuts, and your preoccupation with making this album when you know it won’t sell just floors me, but I love you, and I will do my best to understand and support you. I certainly don’t want to end up being portrayed in your next novel the way you portrayed Kara in your last. And besides, you’re still basically the best lay I’ve ever had… though you haven’t been up for much in that department of late,” she added, a tone of warm mirth masking whatever actual resentment she may have felt.

“I’m sorry. This medication was supposed to return my libido to normal, but it seems I’ve lost something fundamental to my sex drive, and changing meds doesn’t help.”

“Maybe we should get your old school mate Jack to pick you up some Viagra,” she teased. They’d already discussed him taking more meds, and she was dead set against him increasing his chances of heart problems, so they’d both ruled out sex drugs. And besides, he wasn’t suffering from an actual erectile disfunction; he was just having trouble getting horny at an appropriate time. He still got excited, and he definitely still found Andy attractive. He just felt an enormous amount of stress that made sex seem like a poor idea.

“You do know that it’s mostly jealousy, right?” she asked, after leaving him to ruminate for a moment too long.

“Hmmn? What do you mean?”

“The writing. The music. You’ve even taken to designing your own cover art, and you’re good at that, too. Is there anything you can’t do when you put your mind to it?”

“Calculus,” he answered without missing a beat. “And gardening. I can’t grow a plant to save my life.”

“Well, that’s some consolation, except that I can’t do those things either.”

“I’ve never really been too chummy with people who could do both art and math with equal skill. Marcia comes to mind, but we haven’t spoken in a while.”

“Why not? I thought I had some competition there.”

“We’ve both been busy with other things. We get along pretty well, and we encourage each other, but we’re not very good collaborators.”

© 2013 Lee Edward McIlmoyle
Closure ver.1.0 pt 1 (of 5)
Closure ver.1.0 pt 2 (of 5)
Closure ver.1.0 pt 3 (of 5)
Closure ver.1.0 pt 4 (of 5)
Closure ver.1.0 pt 5 (of 5)

Tears ver.1.0 pt 1 (of 1)

Tears ver.2.0 pt 1 (of 3)
Tears ver.2.0 pt 2 (of 3)
Tears ver.2.0 pt 3 (of 3)

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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