Do you have conversations with your book? Jim Behrle does,
Over my bed, or the thing I call my bed which used to be a couch but is kinda now more of a cot, suddenly bathed in an unnatural moonlight, is a seven-foot book with arms and legs. It’s a hardcover with a shiny commercial trade book cover. The title is set in a silvery font that jags and blurs out a little, like frost. It reads: THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR. This was the title of a play the Drama Guild of my high school wrote and performed about homeless people for a one-act play competition. We didn’t win, but I always liked that title. I always wanted to use it for a kind of hard-boiled thriller thing. So here it is, looking down at me in the middle of the night as I lie awake worrying about writing it. Except this book is bigger than me and has huge, unblinking “Simpsons”-character eyes. And a vague look of frustrated disgust across its mouth. It even has an arched eyebrow. It lifts a lit cigar to its teeth and squints.
—So how am I coming along?
It even speaks without scare quotes, like one of those soulless characters in a Cormac McCarthy novel. The kind that kill people with like a special silver spork they’ve had made out of the cavity fillings of all their victims.
I’ll never look at my black moleskine notebook the same. And I’ll never turn my back to it either. Or look it straight in the eye. It’s always judging me.