So there I was lying in a hospital bed for a few days, tethered to a couple of plastic bags holding liquids that drained down through a tube, then into a needle that was installed inside a vein on my right arm. Every so often a stern or smiling face would show up at my bedside, always wanting something–either information I had already repeated to others a gazillion times, or a check on my blood pressure/pulse/temp, or to stick yet another needle into the other arm and withdraw whatever little blood was leftover from the great discharge Sunday night. I, meanwhile, was busy attempting to speed up the process of making new blood to replace what had gushed out when the gaskets gave way.
I won’t bore you with any more details of my recovery, except to spend a moment or two on what was going through my mind while all this medical stuff was going on around and in me. I did not once think about my will, which needs updating. I didn’t think about where all the household papers and documents were and whether my wife would have a hard time figuring everything out if I were no longer there to do the figuring. That is not to say that my wife is not capable of running the operation we call home. In fact, she might be better at it than I am. It’s just that over the years we have each settled into the roles we have adopted for ourselves, usually making sure we don’t have to do things we don’t particular like to do. We have one hard and fast agreement: I will not be forced to go to the beauty supply store and she will not have to accompany me to the hardware. None of these things are whirling about my feeble brain as I play around with the up-and-down buttons on the hospital bed I am embedded in.
No, all I am thinking about is that I have just completed my second book. The manuscript sits in my computer. I am working on getting a cover designed and going through another read to make sure I have caught all the typos and screw-ups I missed the ten other times I previously reviewed the document. I am worried. Is this book the one that will rise out of oblivion and the desolate plateau of self-publishing to become an actual success? Is this the book that people will really make an effort to find, purchase and read and rave about? Or is this the book that is just another in a line of efforts that keep me occupied in these days of idle retirement? These are the things on my mind while I replenish my blood supply, starve to death since I am allowed nothing by mouth for three days, and keep an ever watchful eye over my shoulder hoping not to see a big black-cloaked guy with a skeletal face holding a sickle on a long pole.
So, what will become of my book? becomes my main concern…not what will become of me, my dear wife, my family, my house, and maybe—yes—even snarly Bill the Dog. Okay, I will admit I did spend some time on those subjects just so you don’t think me a total hardass. But I could not keep myself from thinking about what will become of a book titled DEAD LETTER if I am its dead author! This was enough to make me carry on, face the big “D” and repel it….or maybe it was all that juice dripping down into my arm. Well, it really doesn’t matter because I know one thing for sure: the last two words on the last page of my book are “The End.” For now, they apply to the story I wrote…not to me.
There are just a few more days left in May, International Green Month (see May 5th Blog)
If you have not done something green yet, maybe just go get a bucket
of green paint and spill it somewhere…that’ll work.
Books by Marc Kuhn: THE POPE’S STONE, an historical novel that follows two descendants of a Virginia family who, despite living a century apart, share uncanny similarities in their lives; NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE, a collection of whimsical verse featuring thought-provoking “never-do’s” that children should beware of; and ABOUT A FARM, a children’s book about challenges we all face every day, regardless of where we live. All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.
Intimate details about Marc Kuhn and other exhilarating stuff at marckuhn.com
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