Even a Scrap of Bog-roll.
by Gethin A. Lynes
‘ve been a little … absent of late … yeah … that’s it … or, at least, that’s what I’m calling the extended period of consumption I’ve been engaged in for the last … er … I can’t quite remember. Weeks. At least.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, something along the lines of: Consumption? He means booze. How’s that any fucking different to usual? Fair call. But given that I’m getting on a bit – akin, as I like to think of it, to a nice ripe camembert that’s been out of the fridge for a while, all soft, and sagging about the middle, yet somehow all the better for it – and my metabolism is like that of a three-toed sloth, I usually make an effort to rein in my bibulation … slightly … well, alright, I don’t … but I do try to confine it to the less yeasty varieties. But recently? Oh no. The past couple of months it’s been all about the brewery … and maybe the biscuits … and the butter. Indeed my tippling has become a bout full blown gluttony. And I have, in turn, become somewhat more expansive, slug-like even, a regular Jabba-The-Fucking-Hut. In keeping with my engorged state of being, everything has slowed to a crawl … you can probably even see everywhere I’ve been by the trail of slime I’ve left.
Yes yes, I have a talent for exaggeration.
But really, the last couple of months have been enormously apathetic. There’s been minimal exercise, very little reading beyond trawling endless, irrelevant tech blogs, micro-blogs (alright, Twatters), and the late-night, intoxicated musings of the luminaries of the writing world. There sure as fuck hasn’t been any actual writing. It’s probably appropriate, then, that this stretch of indolence has reached its climax. Even more fitting, perhaps, that said ejaculatory peak is characterised by the receipt of a rejection letter…
It may be the result of my well-developed sluggish state of being, but I am (disturbingly?) unconcerned by this development. I’m well aware of the worn path that most, even all, writers wear from the toilet to the letter box, as they oscillate between shitting themselves over submissions and collecting their missives of dismissal. So, I’m quite comfortable with the likelihood that mine is but the first of at least quite a few.
I’ve always said I’d frame my first rejection letter, and while this one isn’t technically my first, the only other one I’ve received – apart from the crushing primary school brush-offs that were passed from the girl to her friend to my friend to me, in response to me asking my friend to ask her friend to ask her out on my behalf – was from a last-minute submission to the UTS Writers Anthology, which, though well enough respected, is made by students for students, and that particular year was edited (in part) by a young lady [and I use the term in its loosest possible sense I assure you] whose dislike of me was proportional to mine of her, so that letter doesn’t count. Besides, I submitted poetry – at the time having nothing else complete – and my skill and grace as a poet is in direct (inverse) proportion to the significant (and aggravating) poetical prowess of the afore mentioned editorial skank.
Anyway, my letter-mounting plans were foiled by digitisation. I didn’t actually receive a letter, it was a fucking email. No calligraphic let-down for me, no. Efficiency, I’m afraid, has leeched all class from the process of telling someone to piss off and peddle their shit elsewhere. I really don’t think it’s asking much. I mean I know my rejectionist had fifteen-hundred-odd submissions to wade through, but the least you could have done was posted me a scrap of bog-roll with a hastily scrawled fuck off! on it; anything that I could tack up on the wall over my desk to remind me to get my fucking back up and prove him the fool for passing up the chance to “discover” an impending literary behemoth…