At 5 am is when I discover that the universe is far too complex for my simple soul. I set down the heretical Gospel of Thomas and turn the light back off, trying unsuccessfully to rest in the darkness.
Then later, with yesterday’s David Byrne tune shrieking across synapses like a torment set on infinite loop, I rise later than the sun, head to the computer, and discover that someone has absconded with my career.
Andrew Sean Greer was born in the same city as me. He moved to San Francisco like I did. He went to Brown, which is where I longed to study. He has published 4 books to acclaim—about the number I should have published by now. He has won a PEN/O’Henry Prize for Short Fiction—one of many of his awards, to which both of us should be equally entitled. (For the moment we will disregard all my unpublished kilo and megabytes; disregard the quibbles over styles and capabilities.)
ASG, as he is known to himself—scoundrel, thief of my career—has a lovely clean website. In striving to reduce my own site to only the meagerest essentials I still find it to be utterly unlike its intention: cluttered and inelegant. Its excess of information is a foil to the softer impulses of my simple soul, and it contains far too much of what I consider to be chaos.
For that awareness I am pleasantly disturbed.
Before we begin to worry that I’ve lain myself prostrate before some new religion, let us abstain from the fear of such a false deliverance.
“When you give rise to that which is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not give rise to it, what you do not have will destroy you.”
I’m only seeking to give rise. And to be astonished. Not by Mr Greer but by myself.