I am a wretched and horrible human being.
Oh wait, perhaps I should catch you up a bit.
You see, once upon a time, I was having a delightful digital conversation with the lovely Embeecee (otherwise known as the Once and Future Queen of Utah, long story) and we both reached a mutual epiphany. This didn’t happen right away, of course, as we first had to solve all of the world’s problems, something we were qualified to do, having caused a few of them in the first place. We pontificated and adjudicated and, during a quiet moment of reflection when we pondered if there was any punishment strong enough for what Trump has done to this country, I had a sudden inspiration.
Me: “We should collaborate on a story.”
Em: “Look, I already told you that I can’t provide you with an alibi for the night the lights went out in Georgia. You’re on your own with that mess.”
Me: “No, little sister don’t miss when she aims her gun, I’m not talking about that. I mean we should do a blog post together.”
Em: “Oh. Well, that might be interesting, unless you’re talking about one of your weird-ass posts where nobody gets any of the references except for two people on the entire planet. Love ya to death but I’m not going down with that ship. Give me the details before I sign anything.”
Me: “I was thinking we could do a Past Imperfect, where I find an old photo and we take turns telling the story.”
Em: “Hmm. That sounds relatively safe. You’ve done five hundred of those things and nobody has arrested you yet.”
Me: “So you’re in?”
Em, hesitating just enough to make me squirm, because no accomplishments are truly satisfying unless some degree of suffering is involved: “Sure. Find a photo, start the story, let’s see where it goes.”
And I did. Well, not immediately. In my typical unfocused manner, it took me a while to find an inspirational snap. It took me even longer to cobble together a semi-worthy lead-in for the story. After several weeks, I emailed the budding yarn to Em.
She responded two seconds later with her addition to the tale.
Damn. I really needed to get on the ball.
I didn’t. I piddled around and procrastinated and generally did what I often do, which was not the right and responsible thing. (Ask my mother. She has plenty of details to sketch in my shady past.) Eventually, a month or three later, I remained in place long enough to give birth to Part Three. (An epidural was involved, these things happen.) I sent the latest wordplay off for Em’s review, mentioning that I thought I could wrap up our endeavor after her next submission.
She responded two seconds later with her additional addition to the tale.
Well, hell. The story was progressing nicely, our ministrations seemed simpatico, and this could very well be a shining moment in the Past Imperfect mythology. (Translation: Neither of us should be in jeopardy of incarceration once I hit the submit button. This is the best one can hope for as an obscure, fledgling blogger.) Trouble is, I had no idea how to end the story, hitting one of those oh-so-familiar roadblocks that writers know so well. Great start, great middle, then absolutely nada. Tumbleweeds blew forlornly across the empty desert.
I let the story gestate in my inbox, neglected, not even bothering to check for vital signs. Six months have gone by with nary an effort on my part to reach the end zone. Crickets chirped.
I should point out that Em has never once said a word about my negligent worthlessness in societal matters. Not a peep, proving that she is indeed the Once and Future Queen of not only Utah, but collaboration as well. She is a saint, if you’ll allow the weak athletic reference.
I am not. To put things in perspective, we started our mission last summer. It’s been nearly a year since I broached the endeavor, and I have failed miserably. The shame is deep. I must rise and make things right.
Scotch the Cat, wandering up to my desk where I am attempting to atone: “Daddy, you realize that you are leaving for Spain in a few days, and you still haven’t written the final part of the story. Your chance of actually completing the saga is on par with my chance of getting treats whenever I want them. Which is nada, to use the one word of Spanish that you actually know.”
Me: “I don’t recall asking your opinion.”
Scotch: “I’m a cat. You’re going to get my opinion whether you want it or not. That’s why we were created. Why are you embracing this madness and not my treat bowl?”
Me: “Because if I shove this post out there, then I have to follow through. Even if it means conjuring the finale whilst I lounge about nearly naked alongside the swimming pool of a rental property in southern Spain.”
Scotch: “Have the people of Spain been warned about this? After all, I’ve seen you naked, and nations have fallen into anarchy for much less.”
Me: “I will persevere somehow. Unless I am unduly tempted by the siren call of cerveza whilst poolside. See? I know at least two Spanish words.”
Scotch: “Oh, you poor thing. How hard it must be to keep getting out of bed in the morning.”
Me: “Are you jealous of my world travels?”
Scotch: “Well, I’ve never been to Spain. But I’ve been to Oklahoma. And they are still trying to figure out what happened to you as a child.”
Stay tuned as I nakedly try to finalize the year-long collaboration. My apologies to Em, for I know not what I am about to wrought…
Categories: My Life