A Reality Check For My Birthday

Original Post Date May 01, 2013 at 06:58 PM

The author celebrates her birthday by remembering why she moved to the beach in the first place.

My dog is dying. Gracefully, in the form a leaf browned takes as it detaches from its tree, floating floating towards its destination.

As he physically expires I’m more concentrated on his comfort and less on my own. So to no surprise did I get to this week feeling tense and exhausted and oh yeah, it’s my birthday on Sunday.

Monday I left Bobby T in charge of Bear and I went out. I housed a 2 cake, 2 sausage, 2 eggs breakfast at Skyway Jack’s. I then drove to the southernmost point of St. Pete Beach. There was a line at the parking station. Tourists, I sighed. A woman with too many kids and inflatables in tow asked me what was wrong with it as I happened upon the group. I saw a flashing light at the terminal. “This one seems down,” I replied.

I walked over to the other pay station. “Is this one not working?” I asked. “It’s not accepting my credit card,” the tourist replied. I strolled back to my beach accoutrement I left against the original pay station. Beach Mom’s male counterpart joined her.

“Ask her, she works here,” I hear one of the small people tell Beach Mom, pointing at me.

“I don’t think it’s working,” the male counterpart tells her.

“Put it on the city. We did our part, but the machine is down. Not our fault,” I offered as I gathered my gear.

“I like your style,” Male Counterpart remarked. He, Beach Mom, the herd of children and inflatables made their way onto the beach.

I doused myself in tanning oil and decided to take a walk. My mind needed clearing. Away from distractions I could actualize my frustrations. My novel. I’ve been working on it without breaks since February. It was starting to feel like, well, work. Where does art end and work begin? And what of those people that say, “work shouldn’t feel like work, it should be fun.” I had walked probably the length of the city before the thesis was fully developed: you’re taking this waaaay too seriously.

Relieved, I double backed to my encampment and settled intoLoving In the War Years by Cherrie Moraga. It was not only a great read, but a means to check my self-importance. You think you’ve got problems? Try being a Chicana lesbian feminist politico thirty years ago. The humble pie was delicious.

It’s going to take me all summer to complete my edits. I know you’re okay with it, because you wouldn’t accept garbage from me. And I refuse to put garbage out there. There’s no need for me to put undue pressure upon myself to satisfy an imaginary deadline.

For twenty years I worked like a machine, and I made the mistake of translating that work ethic into my play time. This is me at play. This novel editing experience is controlled folly. I will not make it more than that.

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