Excerpt from My Manuscript, Chapter 4:
Me: Hey Scott - How’s your week goin’ so far? Just checking to see if you’ve taken a break for food and water between all that studying lol.
I nervously pressed send, placing my phone face down. I’ll just carry on with my day, I thought. He’ll probably respond when he has time, no pressure, he told me he was busy, I’m not expecting much anyway, it’s not like he’s my boyfriend, we just met.
But, who would talk to me after being carried across the street by my ex-boyfriend like a saggy sack of potatoes?
He’s not going to respond.
But, he did the night I initially texted him, though. So, I think there’s a chance. If not, at least a crumb of curiosity?
It’s been 3 hours. I’m sure he’ll take a break. Eat. Check his phone. Get back to a few messages. Hopefully, mine is one of them.
I guess late lunch is a thing? Especially for people who are getting their Ph.D. I mean, come on. He can READ!
I bet he doesn’t even eat lunch. Seems like more of a breakfast/dinner kinda guy. And lunch is kinda wild inefficient now that I’m thinking about it. Wow.
Maybe he left his phone at home?
He’s ghosting me.
If I delete his number I won’t even know it’s him. Take your power back. Delete that shit.
You can’t even file a missing person report for 24hrs. Give a digital message that’s sent to a tower in the sky a chance to get to his phone. Relax, bro.
He’s ghosting me.
Shit, I would ghost me too.
Maybe I should follow up. Not in the crazy multiple-question-mark-way. In a cute, quirky DID-YOU-SEE-MY-LAST-MESSAGE type of way.
*checks message to see if the text was sent to the right number*
What if my ex reached out to him? Told him not to talk to me. I should text him right now. The message will read: please stop HARASSING people I like.
I should get my Ph.D. on how it’s still possible to text people back when you’re studying. The dissertation would be 6,790 pages of evidence-based mothafuckin research.
*deletes his number*
Scott: Hey Nneka! Sorry. I typically leave my phone on silent on lab days. And ha! I almost didn’t break for food or water today. Thanks for checking. How’s your day been?
Me: Heyhey! I’m glad you’re alive. My day’s been great, just wrapping up some stuff for class and work right now. Any plans tomorrow?
Scott: Good to hear. Same stuff, different day tomorrow. Hope yours goes great :)
Me: Yours too! Remember to hydrate lol.
Scott: Will do.
*SIGH* See…he does like me.
This series is about getting more comfortable with the never-ending, magically forgiving process of revision. In the words of Annie Dillard:
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better.
These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.
Thank you for letting me air out these chunks of my manuscript and the 4th season of Passing Through The Podcast every week.