Basic at The Groundlings – Part 14 (The “Drafting a Novel on the Plane” Chapter)

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Picking up from last time

Eventually, the cabin door closed and I still didn’t know any more than when we landed. (My only texts were from friends, and I had no news for anyone.)

As I flew to Seattle, I thought, “You did not fight well enough. You did not fight coherently enough. You didn’t bring up any good points. Maybe it’s not quite too late. Maybe, since you have plenty of time now, you can organize your thoughts into something coherent and brilliant. Maybe. I mean, you’re pretty frazzled, and I don’t know that you can be coherent right now. But it doesn’t hurt to try.”

As soon as we were allowed to turn on our electronic devices, I whipped out my computer and started drafting. I started writing everything I could think of as concisely and convincingly as possible. I started to feel a little on the crazy side, ’cause my version of “concise” was um, not concise at all.

I thought, he is not going to want to wade through this. I starting cutting it into sections with headers and subheaders and things – thinking I’d make all my main points, and then he could read how I elaborate on certain things if he wanted to. But at least it would all be organized and easy to skim. (Yes, I realize that still sounds crazy. Hopefully less so.)

As the plane landed, I still hadn’t said what I wanted to say. But as long as my fate hadn’t yet been sealed, I wasn’t about to sleep until I really made the best possible fight that I could for myself. I figured I’d have a late night drafting and drafting until I sent an email off in the wee hours of the morning.

It was almost midnight when I landed in Seattle. Still no text from Kevin. I figured there was no way I’d hear that night. I did have a text from Sean, and we continued to text as I waited for my uncle to pick me up.

Once I was with my uncle, I launched into the whole thing about what was going on. As we talked on the way home, my phone made a sound that I got a text message. I looked at my phone, assuming it would be from Sean. It wasn’t. It was from a California number I didn’t recognize.

I had had a few texts that day from California numbers that I didn’t recognize, so it wasn’t that out of the ordinary. (Some people I’d met in drop-in classes were kind enough to text me and check in on whether I passed.) When I got this text, I assumed it was someone else wanting to hear the news.

I saw that the text started with “Congrats,” which actually made me angry. Since I was so sure that Kevin wouldn’t be texting me until the next day, my first thought was, “Who are you assuming I passed, random California number? I’m freaking dying over here!”

I read on. “You passed.” Even still, for some reason, I couldn’t see through my stress enough to realize what was happening. “Why would you toy with me like this? What do you know? You don’t know anything!”

(For anyone who thinks it’s odd that it took me so long to read 3 words – I don’t usually read so slowly that I have multiple thoughts for every word I read. It was a special day, and a lot to take in.)

Then I saw, “You passed. Make me proud. –Kevin”

What? (Wide eyes!) What? What? What?! I sufficiently freaked out. My uncle didn’t quite understand the enormity of the moment, but he tried to appease me by caring a little. It was 3:30am on the east coast. I couldn’t even even freak out to everyone that I was dying to tell.

Once we got to my uncle’s house, I thought about how incredible it was to be able to just fall asleep.

I did it. I passed. Step one. done. Everything is going to be okay. I fell straight to sleep and woke up for my half marathon the next day.

Now, this sounds like the end of the story, but it’s not – kind like in Into The Woods. You think it’s over, but there’s more. This is where I’ll continue next time.

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