...contrary to what has become a popular rumor floating about, my unexpected hiatus is not the result of revision burnout, choosing instead to commit myself fully to the dreaded day job. No sir, not in this lifetime...or the next. The following is an account of the past week...I'd personally classify it in the mental/drama genre, but that's from a biased perspective.
I received an urgent text from my wife last Thursday which stated something to the effect of..."washer has blown up and is flooding the downstairs!"
Stuck serving my ten hour sentencing at the day job, I had no choice but to offer my heartfelt condolences until my work release later that evening. (that's how I view the day job...prison with health care benefits:)
Hours later, upon inspecting the damage, it was apparent that a full load of laundry had been rolling about when the washer's pump decided on an early retirement. Despite my wife shutting off the water valve, a considerable trickle continued to bleed through our first floor laundry room, to our finished basement where I stood next to my daughter's cat for several minutes, the two of us watching in awe as the weight of the flood had managed to ruin an impressive amount of ceiling tiles, and was now pooling onto the floor in front of the downstairs fridge.
Fast forward to Saturday, following hours of sopping up and the continual usage of a dehumidifier, wife and I found ourselves at the appliance store, doing our best at low-balling a salesman for an energy star washer reminiscent of something out of The Terminator series. (Top load washers no longer have agitators...who would've thunk it?)
As we were closing the deal, my oldest son was at home, on the computer, wandering about somewhere in the Web's seedy underbelly. No not porn...but from what I could later determine, hop-skip-linking from one low-budget youtube skit to another, laughing at other's stupidity and feeling cool...and not realizing that he was being tailed by a virus, until the damage had already been done.
Spyware seized the culprit, but not before it had infiltrated into our hard-drive, and like a tick on a stray mutt, embedded itself somewhere way down deep into the folds of our Dell.
On to Monday, where, upon dropping off the computer at the Geek Squad for repair, I stopped at Wal-Mart for some of this, a little of that, and as always, ventured into the book section...a magnetism with the kind of pull I'm powerless to defend.
While studying this week's new releases, I spotted the latest Karin Slaughter novel, and found myself in need of the cart for added support. Her ongoing investigative thriller series featuring Special Agent Will Trent, a fellow she's described as a Jeff Goldblum look-a-like, and his partner, Faith Mitchell. Slaughter can pen a juicy mystery with the best of 'em, but it was the title of her newest addition that drew my angst.
My title. It had been my title for the better half of a decade. And while I'd spent a good deal of time researching other novels with the simple one-word name-tag, it was pleasing to discover that for the most part, Broken was usually included in a title phrase. Broken This or Broken That. Only a scant few were simply named "Broken," and none by anyone I recognized from the best-seller list.
But Slaughter's an established carnivore in shark infested waters. At the present time, I'm a guppy.
So I called David, who said, "Slaughter's a nationwide treat. You're gonna be a local hotshot for a time until that day when your ticket's punched. I think it'll be all right. Go drink a beer and chill out."
Okay. A week spent hunched over revisions, corrections now made with lead and eraser instead of a backspace button, and a plump bill soon to be arriving from the appliance store, with my checkbook already listed in critical condition.
The computer's back. The funds are low. But our floors are now dry and our clothes are clean once again.
Even without an agitator:)