A Better Room

What it’s like is

The day of your first son’s wedding
When you glance at your email in the morning
Before your nervous wife is even awake
Just to put it out of your mind
To get it behind you

And feel happy at first to see only five new messages
From minor people
Who can’t hurt you much
Until you begin to read a forwarded article from a college friend
About an old classmate who has just published a book
To outstanding reviews in several papers

And find yourself forgetting to check about getting your sister-in-law a better room
Watching a golf tournament of no consequence for an hour and a half
Re-reading the article to make sure it is as good as it seemed
Deciding that you’ll wing it on your toast
Pissing off your wife because you’re not ready yet and
People will be in the tent in a half hour, for Christ’s sake

And watch your son make a new, holy commitment
Before his family and God
While you strain to find emotion
And finally decide to fake it by rubbing your eyes
Pursing your lips then
Looking off into the distance forlornly to signify remembering him when he was just a boy

And drink a bit too much champagne
“On porpoise”
So that you can turn in a bit early
But not before checking your messages one more time
Googling the guy to see what others will find when they search for him
And then starting the outline of your own novel which you should have written years ago.

Charles McCannon

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