Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
Last night I emailed my finished manuscript to my editor in New York, and then I drove downtown, took off all my clothes and ran naked through Temple Square. There was no other appropriate response. Except maybe I should have taped some sparklers to my boobs. [making mental note for future instances of streaking]
I’m not sure what I want to do with the next hour of my life, or even the next ten minutes. I COULD DO ANYTHING. I mean, this whole process started three years ago, and it got really intense a year ago when the deadlines were written in ink on a contract, and since then every single minute of my life has been heavy with the thought of those deadlines. I felt guilty if I took five minutes to read a magazine because I should have been using those five minutes to write my book. I felt like I was walking around with a 500-pound llama sitting on my face, and it hadn’t bathed in several weeks.
So I know it’s not over, because this is when the work really begins, when my editor takes his red pen to the Word document and starts crossing out entire paragraphs and makes notes in the margin like, “YOU ARE DUMB,” or, “SIT ON IT.” But just making it this far was so thrilling that last night I turned to Jon and said, you know what? Tomorrow I’m going to take an entire hour and organize my sock drawer! AND I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. That’s how out of control I was.
The following paragraph seems out of context, but trust me, it will all make sense and we will hug at the end.
There’s this show on MTV called “Rob and Big,” and I know there’s nothing more annoying than hearing someone talking about a television show you don’t watch, except maybe having to sit there while someone tells you about the dream they had last night, but pay attention because this is important. Rob is this tiny professional skateboarder who lives in LA and Big is his huge bodyguard, and the show follows them around as they do every stupid thing a 14-year-old boy wishes he could do if only he had the money. And it is our favorite show on television, and one night we’re sitting there watching it unable to breathe because we’re laughing so hard, and I’m all, I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO FIND THIS FUNNY. What is wrong with me? I didn’t like 14-year-old boys when I was a 14-year-old girl, so why was I identifying with this show now? I totally wanted to break up with me.
There’s one specific episode where the two of them are driving through a car wash and an Enrique Iglesias song comes on, and Rob reaches down and turns the car stereo up as loud as it will go and starts singing along like crazy, as if he had written the song himself, and he’s moving his arms to the rhythm like a lunatic. And Big is sitting in the passenger seat, perfectly calm, quietly mouthing the words, nodding his head almost imperceptibly. Jon paused the show and said, this is it, this is why we love this show so much. THAT IS OUR MARRIAGE RIGHT THERE.
It was like a truckload of bricks fell on top of my head. He was exactly right. And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like in our house on a day-to-day basis, all you have to do is turn on that show, watch Rob come up with some deranged scheme, like I KNOW! Let’s go buy a miniature horse and let it live in our living room! And Big will nod, scratch his chin, maybe shrug his shoulders just a tiny bit, and say, whatever, I only work here.
So last night I downloaded that specific Enrique Iglesias song the second I was done with my manuscript and then went nuts with my set of propellor arms in the kitchen while Jon stood in the corner and bobbed his head to the rhythm. Leta joined me on the dance floor, and Chuck and Coco just wandered around in manic circles like, I don’t know what’s going on, but maybe this is what happens right before bacon falls out of the sky.