I've never used a lighter before and so it takes me many, many, many tries to finally get the little spark and flame. But anyway now it’s out and now I've got my worthless script in the sink. I'm going to burn it. I love the way the charred paper smells. I like watching the pages curl up. Character names and lines of bad dialogue are seared away. And there it goes, such beautiful destruction.
The gesture is more symbolic than anything else, now I think. The ashes are soggy. They will stick to this morning's dishes. The script is still well-preserved in five other places: on my hard drive, and on the Internet, and on a Zip disk at my boyfriend's house, on a disk I gave my friend Lisa, and regrettably on still another disk in the vegetable crisper of my refrigerator. But I at least have hope that it's been ruined by the cold and the dampness.
I am convinced now that they were all right about this story. Nobody wants to read it, and everyone who has says that if I revise it ten more times, maybe just maybe it could be a Lifetime movie of the week. Great. Just like the one about Laurie Dann killing those poor little kids in Winnetka.
Anyway now I'm trying to get the wet ashes to go down the garbage disposal. Now the kitchen has a nice burnt smell. I like the smell of burnt paper. Much better than burnt plastic.
Maybe I'll go do something else with my life. Why be a fabulous screenwriter? Why not just a humble painter? I'll continue to live alone, get into a series of M.F.A. programs and never leave. I'll subsist on loan money and never pay it back because I'll be in school for the rest of my life.
©2001 Tiffany Gholar