Upon his return to put a "We tried to deliver your parcel but you were out, you complete moron." notice on the door handle, he was met with my sunny countenance, albeit with my hair (such as it is) plastered to one side of my head and exploding alarmingly from the other and the sort of deep creases on my face which implied that I'd fallen asleep in a cider press. I wasn't, by the way - and to your undoubted immense relief - really wearing a sexy baby-doll gown, but instead a huge white thing which makes me look and feel like I'm in a very expensive spa.
The mail man stared at me for a second, harrumphed loudly, and when I made no move to join him on the steps up to my house, turned and stomped back to this truck to retrieve the boxes. I couldn't stop smiling; I'd been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. The mail man, on the other hand, found it difficult to wear any expression other than the "You complete bastard!" one that was adorning his face at that time. I took the boxes from him, signed his battered electronic device (at the same time hoping that by doing so I hadn't just agreed to something I couldn't yet imagine) and bade him a cheery farewell, shutting the door just as his fists began to bunch.
Barely conscious, unsteady on my feet and for some reason desperately needing a pee, I tore open the top box, leaving shards of fingernail in the cardboard as I did so. My books were in there! My babies! As a grin spread across my face, beyond my ears and met up around the back of my head, I picked up my book for the very first time. I held it gently, opened it even more gently, and flicked through the opening pages while the thrill of the moment spread within me. I decided to not cry despite feeling like doing so; I wanted to be able to see my book, my baby. I read the first page, the oh-so-familiar words dancing up off the page to meet me, seemingly gleeful now that they were finally where they truly belonged. It was real. I'm an author. Wow. WOW.
I reflected for a few moments while I wrung out a kidney (had a pee), and when I looked in the bathroom mirror, the smile was still there, even though my eyes were damp. No matter what happened from that moment, I had written a book (it's such a massive concept, it hasn't sunk in completely, even now). Smiling, I went back to bed and tried to sleep. Several times I woke, and several times the same thought popped into my mind; I'm an author. Each time, I grinned, rolled over and fell asleep once again in that way we do when there's nothing to wake up early for, and when the bed is being its most deliciously comfortable. Yesterday was a good day.
Today, I woke and smiled. I danced up the stairs (it's OK: I'd dressed first) like a young buck and sat with some excitement at my laptop. Even the prospect of struggling with this malevolent instrument of torture didn't wipe the smile from my face, and after what seemed like mere hours, I had my email account open.
*BANG* Back down to earth I fell from the lofty peak of Mount Pleasedwithmyself as I read a rejection letter from a journal to which I had submitted an article several months ago. Even more of a kick in the nuts: they thanked me for my poem, which was all the more disheartening because I'd written a piece of prose without a hint of poetry in it. They probably hadn't even read it.
Sometimes life throws curve balls, sometimes I hit a home run, but just occasionally - and I really need to remember this, I go out onto the field without wearing a cup, and take a fast ball to the gonads.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and stroke my book.