There are around forty-thousand people that live in Pacifica, California. Which wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that I live in Pacifica, California. That mixed with a certain percentage of fellow Pacifica residents who are certifiably jellyfish-for-brains crazy makes concentrating on the simplest tasks a little difficult, nevermind finishing a novel. Every night at six pm my daughter takes a bath. Previous to that, every night, I make a trip to Safeway for our groceries. Tonight was different. The woman in line in front of me, attempting to buy a can of powdered cocoa, was unfortunately declined by her credit card company. Three times. "IF ANY MORE MONEY COMES OUT OF MY F***** ACCOUNT I'LL F****** KILL YOU, B****!!!" she screamed. "I'LL F******* STAB YOU!!!" She then ran out of the door and into the night.
When faced with the ugliest parts of human nature, and in this case a very ugly woman, it certainly makes the difficulties of washing a toddler's hair seem a little less traumatic. For most, trouble at the office means missing invoices and bad audits. But for me, when most of my work every night comes from my already overactive imagination, and life has thrown a little temper tantrum in the checkout line and in my bathtub, I am faced with the hardest reality. My hand is forced. But the solution is easy. "Dear writing career, just for tonight, screw you. Love, NLC."