The end

February 17, 2006 at 2:15 pm (Uncategorized)

It was around four in the morning when I finished my first novel in 2004. The sun wasn't up yet and the world was quiet. I put up a hand for a high five, but there was no skin there to slap. Not a word from the ghoul on the bookshelf. Nothing from the plastic rats or the looming skeleton in a corner. I went out to the porch for a cigarette. I tried to high five a tendril of smoke, but it broke apart and drifted away into the morning dark.


My second novel, finished last spring, was wrapped up after midnight on a Sunday. I made some calls, but there was nobody home. Still nothing from the props around my writing room. Still nothing from a circle of cigarette smoke.


I wrote the final lines in my latest book early Monday morning. It was 2:49 a.m. This time, I didn't even try. I wrote "the end," took pains to save the sucker, and stepped outside.


Lonely is the completion of a novel for one who keeps strange hours. I am new enough at this to get wildly excited at the very end. The thrill when it's over is part relief, part amazement and a touch of melancholy. All those characters you created will now get ripped through a printer, tucked into a box and left in a sort of suspended reality while you mull the project for weeks or months. Suddenly, the good guys and bad guys you've been hanging out with every night are off to another dimension.


Worumbo, The Pink Room and now Delirium Tremens. Three novels that were finished without drama in abject solitude. Clearly what I need is a tradition. A bottle kept tucked in a drawer to be opened only in these profound moments. A fine cigar. A hooker, whatever. Something to mark the moment. Something to count on when the words are on the page and the story has rounded to completion.


Someone loan me a tradition. Or at the completion of the next novel, I'll run naked through the streets screaming absurdities. No one wants that, man. No one.



  1. -what's her face said,

    you need a tradition?
    what you need is a can of spray paint.
    walk one hour.
    write “the end” on the nearest transient structure, be it a boarded up window or train car. what’s her face, with such a list. have you such a list?

  2. Anonymous said,

    You Lost Sole, you! I’ll buy you a bottle of Allen’s to tuck into that drawer. If that doesn’t work than…maybe a bottle of Fat Bastard would do the trick!!

  3. fizzlefart said,

    Are we gonna get an e-mail at 2 in the mornign when the next one is done?

  4. Guest said,

    Very interesting article

  5. Blogs, news and more! said,

    very nice blog!mary

  6. les said,

    I love my child .But i still would get angry

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