Fool Echo

I’m just glad another kid is out of the house. I don’t have to read that story again, don’t have to worry I’ve missed something. I have missed something. Something is always missed. But now he is gone, sought his fortune, founds his minor treasure and I don’t have to love him so much anymore.

This is a natural effect of submissions and short-story publishing. Before the kid is released into the world, I have to love her to death, love her more than anything else I’ve ever released under its own recognizances. And then, immediately, I have to not care, because slush piles are strangers barely making eye contact. Don’t thrill because you think she smiles, because he appears to like the style of your bag. The sublime is primed by the music coming off his mobile, by the next chapter of the book she’s aching to sit and read.

—because when the kid skulks back in the dead of night, the door stays locked. Go. Get back out there. Chin up. It’s math. It’s subjective. There is absolutely no space for tears.

So, this time she’s not coming home. Accepted. Published. Printed. Nothing has changed, but that somewhere out there one in thirty was glad to meet you. Then the telephone rang. It’s good. Enjoy the last couple fingers of scotch and a pinch of confidence. Been saving it for today. Then later, some other kid needs putting to bed. Not going well. Not going willingly. That’s okay. Love this one. Never loved anything more than this fool echo.

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