Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Blue Pencil

It feels good to wield a blue pencil, ennit? The power to tear people down, pronounce their feelings and thoughts ridiculous, reduced to a treacle. It is inevitable that some people will not like what I write. Most of the time, I don't like what I write.

I write it anyway. It has been a lifesaver, a little sweet diversion through these days of unemployment. I write because I like the process of writing, the words formed from synapses of the brain traveling down the nervous system, to the tips of my fingers, then making that jump to a keyboard and a screen.

One unfortunate reader had been so incensed that I have written such trite passages that he wrote an entry in my guestbook, crowing of his intent to blue pencil me into oblivion. When I deleted it, he returned and decried my deletion of the original malevolent entry, contemptuous of my lack of mettle to withstand his challenge. I am not sure why he felt that I should leave it up. When you have a rabid dog in your house, you don't just sit there and drink tea, do you?

I guess he has been having an extra bad day at the office that he felt compelled to complain that I wasted his time reading my unfortunate prose when he could be doing something productive like surfing porn. Maybe his boss told him that he needed to sharpen his blue pencil on literary low-lives like me because he's not ready to edit a real manuscript.

Ok, I get it; I am not a million-selling author. If you're reading this, Mr. Guestbook, I would encourage you to move on with your life already, but I suspect you won't. You're like me: easily riled up, quixotic, impetuous. I spent two days spamming Celine after she kept putting meaningless Portuguese quotations in my comments. It was futile, she didn't know any English. But you, you got to me. You got me to write this post. Bet you're itching to blue pencil this comma right here,

If I had a blue pencil, Anne Rice would not have a career. After reading ten-odd books filled with excessively florid passages, I think that I have had enough. Never has there been such swooning over blood flowing than a group of Tampax executives.

If I had a blue pencil, I would remove entire periods from my memory, events from which I physically flinch when I remember them.

If I had a blue pencil, I would tell my friend Julie Harris that I am sorry for hurting her, for writing that damn e-mail, the one she wept over.

Where were you when I could have used your blue pencil?