I took a few minutes for myself this morning to make a picture of my sleeping flu-child with his pocket panther guardian.
The cats prefer Evan over all other humans, which I sort of do too (it’s inescapable) and they are devastated when his door is closed to them, as it is this morning.
In the morning, when I wake up, I go straight to the previous day’s pages, all of the pages, and I look for the things that make my throat get tight. Stuff too close together, boxes not lined up. Lined up how? There are different ways to measure, each version, each standard feels different.
I’m mixing, I guess you’d say. Mixing and laying down an extra vocal here, a bit of piano there. Realizing that verses are out of order. This is the part of an edit that can be terrifying, if you let it, because at some point you realize with horror and delight that every single goddamned time you look at the work you will find things that could be improved. Or tiny errors. Purple things that are supposed to be black are the gnats in the pudding. Periods inside parentheticals. Rows instead of rounds. I fight them, the Team fights them. It’s like playing a video game. Where do they keep coming from? Did we miss them, or did Kate fuck them up anew?
I lean heavily on my role model for clean mixes and good bones. WWBFD? I know him well enough by now to ask, but it’s hard to listen properly.
I’m a terrible listener, but not because I don’t care. It’s more like I hear things through a zigged tunnel, and for every word said, I hear five; I make snap judgments about what was said based on the aggregate of what I heard; this is an atrocious way to interpret what other people are attempting to say but an excellent way to synthesise in general.
It’s a dreadful balance, trying to be understood by others in a world in which I understand only a mere fraction of what is going on around me, and likely get half of what I think I’m getting right wrong. I’m just not properly slotted into all y’all’s situation, but I love you and I try harder THAN YOU THINK.
I console myself on all counts and in all cases by playing the little mindvideo of myself telling myself that the whole book-thing is tremendously awesome, and that the paper book could never be more than a souvenir of the process. No matter how we stuff it fatter than an oyster po-boy from just the right place on just the right street, it could never hold it all. And no matter how many typos we find, Doriot will find more.
I can definitively say that however this all shakes out, I could not have tried harder to do better. That’s an astonishing statement. I don’t think I have ever been able to make it before in good faith, not without minor pupil dilation anyway, remembering days in the garden that could have been spent instead on the Wheel.