Do you remember the feeling of waiting interminably for a phone call from the boy you met the other night? The ‘will he, won’t he call’ anticipation – like a tidal wave of emotion; an initial surge of optimism accompanied by giddy euphoria, slowly tapering off to an unrelenting hopefulness by day 3, followed by mournful depression and plummeting the depths of defeat by day 5. Anyone who waits beyond day 5 is a loser – if he hasn’t called by now, it ain’t happening. Well, even though it’s been a long time since I’ve forayed the dating scene, I feel a bit like that now.
Well, today is that 5th day equivalent of the 5 day rule, since I submitted my meticulously scripted manuscript to a willing publisher. Willing to risk a perusal that is, rather than willing to risk a publish.
For what has seemed like the longest 4 days known to man, I have been busying myself with the business of going about my usual routine by day, ousting aside hopes and fears of a dream to be fulfilled or dashed. By night, on ceiling patrol in the wee small hours, with no excuse or distraction, pessimism pervades the solitary silence. My writing is set for a destiny of loneliness and abandon; cast aside for more interesting, clever, beautiful or simply more commercial literary offerings – fated for unrequited love.
To be fair, this is as kindly a publishing house as ever a writer is likely to come across: they promise to reply in a week (and they do); plus the reply is personal with even the bonus of constructive criticism (though all that registers is a big fat veto). A seeming chasm away from the months (yes, plural) wait endured for a reply from other industry insiders; capped off with a standard Average Joe ‘thanks but no thanks’ letter – prompting me to wonder whether my writing has even met the discerning gaze of anyone outside the mail room.
But the conclusion remains unchanged regardless of the means of delivery. Again, I am faced with the reality of rejection and wonder: at what point does the repetition of rejection render itself numbing? Surely a definitive reply is infinitely preferable to being consigned to a life sentence of unknowing. Or is it? Perhaps I’d rather live forever in hope than suffer a speedy execution.
As with all prior instances of scorned woman syndrome, and the accompanying hell-like fury unleashed, I will consign this unworthy recipient to the mounting debris of similar ilk, dust off my feather quill (laptop), and soldier on. But this fighting talk isn’t sounding too Herculean anymore. Once upon a time the thinking would follow the path of: just as I found Mr A, there will be someone who will appreciate my writing likewise for what it is. Now, I think of those doomed for a lifetime of lovelorn loneliness – like them, my writing is conceivably destined never to meet its yearned for Other Half: its desired mass readership.