I learned to ride a bike in Panama, the isthmus connecting North and South America. I lived on a military base at the top of a hill. There was a cul de sac lined with cute little cacti that led down a steep decline into another cul de sac lined with cute little cacti. Spindly, wicked, razor sharp little cacti. And I rode—well, coasted, really—my bike down that hill, trying wildly to understand this machine of two wheels, gravity and merciless velocity. I crashed, of course, landing in a pile of cactus that did little to deserve my rude disturbance and made me pay for my lack of manners. I continued to ride (coast/peddle artlessly) that bike, and crash into cactus. And the cactus continued to make me pay for it.
That’s not really the point of the story. Stay with me.
My caregivers grew concerned at my bloodied state. My knees and elbows were open wounds (cacti) and I don’t remember riding with a helmet. The doctor made a grand ordeal about dirt and other infectious nasties—so thus began a regular rotation of bike riding (crashing) and hospital visits; wherein a sadistic asshole in scrubs would softly soap the meat ground wounds of my knees and elbows with gentle suds, then suddenly turn that bitch over to the prickly side and scrub the scabs open.
They did their best, but there is a centimeter square on my left elbow where Panamanian dirt remains lodged in my flesh to this day.
Real talk, I’ve felt derailed this week. I was dedicated to rebooting the optimistically romantic female dormant inside of me. I began a beautiful story I have eight days to finish and haven’t touched since Valentine’s day. I am transitioning though keto flu and off meat/dairy. I feel ill, heartsick and numb.
I also feel determined. Inspired.
Waiting out beta feedback is more than hard, its maddening. And it’s always worth the wait. Feedback is the cauterizing wound that prevents the spread of infection. It’s the nurse scrubbing open your scab, so she can clean it. And, in the end, the wait is harder than the critique, really. Even a sharp criticism is worth the inbox notification.
And, in any event, I thought of some really cool revisions today.