Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I really liked The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen

When Stephen woke up in the Maine-chilly sheets he knew immediately that he would have to write later that day. It wasn't that he felt it itching in the back of his mind the way he did sometimes when the novel was new and fucking exciting, or when he knew he was on the verge of discovering a plot twist that would change the entire thing. But he knew that he had to clock in some four hours this morning, just like always, or he would get behind. The story was in one of those goddamn doldrums; he hoped he could work through it today. ...After a shower.

He rolled over and looked blurrily (blearily) at Tabby's back, hunched away from him, naked. He hadn't been on such great terms with Tabby lately. She supported him, sure, of course, like always, but she was a little pissed off because he didn't like her new idea, the one about Marcia and the babies. Tabby was a first-class woman but her writing was like a fucking soap opera, Stephen thought. She'd only started writing after meeting him, he reminded himself, feeling a little vindicated and, what was the word, generous almost. He had to encourage her, sure. She was like a child. A slim-shouldered, intelligent, funny, dramatic, stubborn child.

It was five-thirty and Stephen had gone to bed at two but he wasn't tired. A perk of getting old, he supposed. He didn't mind getting old, really; his talent and his fame were only growing, and the kids (first-class kids, really) had finally left home. He reached out onto the little rickety Guatamalan table by his side of the bed-- Tabby had her own on the right-- and plucked up his glasses, those awful ones he'd worn since '72. By now he felt they were almost synonymous with his name-- a fucking household name by now-- and even, he thought secretly, with the whole genre of horror. Stephen could no sooner get laser surgery-- and this was a fucking great analogy-- he could no sooner get laser surgery than he could chop off his hands.

He put them on and the world came into clarity, except for a large irritating smudge on one eye. Stephen rubbed at it ineffectually and cursed quietly. Finally he threw the spectacles down on the pillow. Fuck it, Tabby could clean them when she woke up.

Stephen rolled out of bed into the cold. (Maine! ah, Bangor, Maine, he had no choice but to live here now, the place was such an inspiration-- but even though he had no choice he kept telling himself he would never want to live anywhere else, not even Hawaii or Fiji or Florida.) He turned on the shower. It was April and it took some ten minutes for the water to heat up. While he was waiting, Stephen shaved and took a leak and brushed his teeth and sneaked a glance in the mirror. Without his glasses, with reality blurred, he could handle the mirror. But he didn't much like the way he looked when he could actually see. Now Tim, his character, he definitely liked looking in the mirror, the jackass. Tim was a good-looking bastard. Wouldn't it be jarring though if one day Tim looked in the mirror and saw someone else, someone ugly and scary? It would totally undermine the usual legends of beasts not having reflections. Perhaps this new beast would only be a reflection. Hmm--

And then finally the shower was steaming and Stephen stripped off his yellow boxers and stepped in, oh, fuck, scalding!