The Writer’s Life: A Humorous Glimpse at the Truth.

basic-typing-1La life de l’artiste
It’s beautiful in San Francisco, and it’s easy to appreciate because I make enough from book sales that I only have to work part-time. I get off work and take the Milan trolley home. The hot butch trolley driver surreptitiously slips me her calling card and winks,”Call me any time, hot stuff!” On the way home, I take some photos with my phone for inclusion in my urban photography blog.

Once home, I put on Nina Simone and start dinner. I sauté the shallots and zucchini, then grate the fresh corn from my CSA into the mixture. I add eggs and cream, then pour the quiche into the cast iron skillet and put it in the oven.

While it is baking, I read my emails. The New Yorker has accepted a fourth poem and wonders if I’m interested in writing a regular column, I have a good-sized advance check from my publisher, and a handful of ardent fan letters. I get a text from my paramour wanting to know if I’d like to fuck tonight, and I respond valiantly, “Yes!

I eat by candlelight, while writing the outline to my new novel. The moon is high and bright, and the trees beneath my window sway in the cool night breeze. The fog is wafting in; weaving it’s way between the branches. After dinner, I vacuum my apartment, then wash my dishes while humming Doris Day hits.

I have just enough time to dash off a few quick vignettes for a new queer comic anthology before my girlfriend arrives. I take a whore’s bath, then change into my vintage rust quilted flannel smoking jacket and slacks. Rudolph Valentino had one just like it, but in grey. I starch and iron my pink Oxford shirt, and steam my grey flannel slacks for tomorrow, then hang them on my oak clothes-horse.

I hear the soft click of the front door lock as my girlfriend arrives, and Pavlovian-like, my cunt swells at the sound. She is very happy to see me and throws me to the floor for a quick fuck in the hallway. Then she takes me into my bedroom to force me to suck her cock, after which she trusses me up, canes me until I’m weeping, then fists me until I’m limp and incoherent.

Afterwards she runs a scented candlelit bubble bath for me, then feeds me coconut cake from Tartine’s Bakery while I’m bathing. She tucks me in, then leaves. I’m extremely grateful for her tireless administrations and promise to dedicate my next novel to her.

I sleep for eight straight hours. I do not wake up at 3:30 a.m.

La realite de artiste
It’s beautiful in San Francisco! I get off work and take the Milan trolley home. Customers have been needy and I’m exhausted from working full-time. The bus is overly crowded, but I manage to get a seat. Someone who reeks of stale piss and tobacco falls onto my lap. They call me a “fucking asshole” but I console myself with the fact that they’re having a worse night than I’m having.

Once home, I play Nina Simone while I put bread into the toaster. I slather my toast with fancy Irish butter and slice off a chunk of sharp cheddar cheese. I read my emails while I’m eating my dinner of toast and cheese. My 84-year-old lesbian separatist aunt writes that she envies my writing talent. I read that bit ten times, gloating more and more each time

None of the other people that I sent my novel to have emailed me back. I wonder how much my writing sucks. Then I wonder if I’m so socially awkward that I’m actually unlikable; it’s possible. I feel bad that I’m so insecure, then I remember that I’m brilliant and perk up.

I open my annual statement from Social Security. I’ll get $1,173 a month if I retire at 66 in six years. My student loans alone are $244 a month. I’ll never be able to retire from my straight job. Ever. I feel awful again.

I put my plate in the sink and wash the dishes. The trash under the sink stinks and I consider taking it out, but am too tired, so I don’t.

I take a hot scented bath by candlelight. I use my new Italian sandalwood soap and feel better. I put on my green plaid cotton pajamas that I bought from Community Thrift. I work desolately on the outline for my new novel, then go on Facebook to catch up with news and gossip. I distribute snarky comments and kind words like breadcrumbs. The moon is high and bright, and the trees beneath my window sway in the cool breeze. The fog is coming in. I take some pictures of the night sky and post them on Facebook. I get 15 “likes” in 10 minutes. I feel loved.

I read a murder mystery on the sofa with my purring cat perched on my belly. I become sleepy at 10:00, so go to bed. I fuck myself in the ass while beating my thighs with a silicone slapper until I come. Hard. I’m grateful that I’m good in bed and consider dedicating my next book to my favorite dildo. I sleep for six hours, wake up at 3:30 a.m. in a panic about not getting published, go back to sleep until 5:00 a.m., and go back to work.

About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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