Just Rewards

It was a sunny day and here I was sinking my teeth in a delicious turkey and cheese sandwich. While eating and drinking a nice cold beer I couldn’t help but ask myself what have I accomplished so far to call myself a writer?

And so it occurred to me at that particular moment that I had done nothing so far to earn that title; that my only real contributions to the writing world were a stack of typed papers resting peacefully inside my laptop. Some of them I had decided to send to small literary magazines – the rest were a click away from being permanently erased from our universe.

But even the writings I had sent seemed to have vanished into deep space – none of them ever returned to me, or at least, none of them had returned without a rejection slip attached to them. It seemed as if I was destined to fail, as if I was destined to be one of the many who actually had the potential to succeed but never fulfilled it.

For once, I wanted to be part of the minority – I wanted to be part of the few who actually made it in this cruel disturbed mad world.

I drank some more. I devoured the rest of my sandwich – it was one of the few times when I could actually afford to eat in style since I spent all of my days writing and most of them starving to do more writing.

While I was reflecting on my failure I decided to open my mailbox and check for another imminent rejection. I drank another gulp of beer to brace myself and when the page loaded in front of my eyes, I felt both my pupils dilating like some perverted sex machine surrounded by a bunch of whores. There was excitement flowing through my veins. But what exactly was I excited about? Another rejection? Or the fact that I had received none which meant I got to keep my slim hopes of getting published alive for another day?

Well, after checking my inbox, I did find an email. And it came from a magazine I had submitted my work to exactly one month ago. I opened the email and felt my heart pounding through my chest like a prisoner trying to break free. After reading through the email the first time I noticed it was unlike any other I had received – so I read it again. And again. And again. I read the damn thing four times so that my eyes would believe it. The email thanked me for my interest in the magazine and for submitting my work and stated my writing would be published in this month’s issue. I couldn’t believe it. For a minute, the world turned black and white, everything in front of me became a blank space. I felt like the star of a silent film where the deafening silence ruled above all else.

I closed my inbox. I turned off my laptop. It’s probably just a bug in the system, I told myself. I turned on the machine again. I opened my browser. I opened my email inbox. There it was again, under the ‘read’ section, the email that stated my work will be published in this month’s issue. I needed more convincing; so I read it again. And again. And again…then I drank while toasting to the gods above…

There it was! My one true vindication! The ultimate proof of my craft and skill! Yes, there it was: the culmination of my work! My entire potential on display!

I laughed hysterically in front of my writing desk while spinning in my chair. It felt good, it felt really good! Like a hot bath or good sex or a fine meal or a nice bottle of whiskey!

I had finally reaped the rewards of my work, and I was just starting to be appreciated for the genius I am in the writing community!

I opened another bottle of beer and sat back in my chair, both feet up on my desk. I could retire early now, I thought. The world suddenly felt right and at peace. And so was I.

And the best part of the story was that this month was my birthday and I had no idea what to get myself. Now, there was no need to bother anymore.

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