I am not a morning person.
That being said, most weekdays I am up at five o’clock to make Alex breakfast. Somehow, the eggs are not broken, the scramble is light and fluffy, the bread is perfectly toasted, the myriad of pills Alex takes are all laid out in the right dosage. I lay the food and accouterments on the table, kiss my husband goodnight, and then go back to bed. The last half hour was obviously a dream.
I actually awaken at 9:00 am, a civilized hour for a civilized person. I shoo out the lucky kitty who gets to share my bed, make coffee, toast a bagel, and bring it to the computer to consume while I write.
Fog rolls in, fog rolls out. I check the pleas from friends to read their work, go to YouTube to watch some videos, chew my fingernails because there are no pencil erasers. My mind drifts, I am somewhere (where?) I’ve never seen before.
There are books everywhere, burying me until only my eyes show. I scan the titles, none of them are mine. Pages start to turn with the sound a card taped onto a bicycle wheel: flip flip flip flip flip. They become helicopter rotors and I duck my head continuously, barely escaping the whirling blades. The turning dredges up wind which becomes visible, a god-like cloud, long white beard, finger pointing.
“WHEEEEEREEEE ARE YOOOOUUUU?” he says.
“What? I don’t know where I am. Can’t you tell me?”
“Where are you?” He points to the piles of books.
“Huh? Oh, you mean my book? It doesn’t seem to be here. And who are you?”
“I am the Editor.”
“The editor? What are you doing here?”
“I am editing, of course. I read, I change things, I rewrite, I reject.”
“So that was you? Okay, so why aren’t I in here?”
“I told you. I am the Editor. I have edited you.”
I felt for my corporeal body. My hand (or what I imagined to be my hand) passed through nothing.
“What the fuck is going on? What have you done to me??”
“I am the Editor. I edited you. You no longer exist.”
Now, a statement like that really gets one thinking. What must one do to exist? How does this abomination before me exist? Is he here solely because of me? This must be in my mind, surely. And he claims he has erased me. But this is purely in my mind, my mind……MY MIND!
I looked up at him again, growing larger in my vision, his voice crackling, laughing. He made me think of Charlton Heston, and suddenly that’s exactly who he became.
I started to laugh with him, and that’s when I thought, “I can do pretty much whatever I want here, wherever here is.” I conjured a dark cloud in my mind and made it rain.
“Noooo, you fool! The books, the BOOKS!”
Hmmm. This had to continue to its rational conclusion. I imagined a huge eraser coming straight at his head, making rubbing motions.
“STOP!” He screamed. “I am the editor, I am THE EDITOR!”
“Seems like I’ve got the upper hand here, Editor. How would you like to be edited?”
“Now, now, let’s not get hasty here. Surely we can come to some agreement?”
I had already thought of just the thing.
I was back in bed, but it wasn’t the way I left it. The bedroom all glass windows looking out at a large expanse of cityscape, even the tallest buildings were thirty or more stories down. Velvet draperies were pulled back by satin sashes, plush chairs in my favorite colors, and a large screen TV was to the left a walk-in closet larger than my old house. I sat up to see a crystal tray by me, serving my dream breakfast.
Alex, my husband, walked in the door. “I’ve got the print of your next book, sweetheart, and it’s already made the Times Bestseller List!”
Being an editor has its advantages.