|I can't tell you how hard it is to write depressing stuff|
when you have chickens.
The only problem is, I have chickens. I cannot tell you how hard it is to look unblinkingly into the dark sucking vortex of oblivion and chaos that lies unspoken and unacknowledged at the center of existence as we go about the pathetic charade we call our lives when you have chickens. There's something about chickens that just makes you smile. You let them out of their pen in the morning, and they just go head-bobbing across the yard, all full of chickenish joie de vivre. As if that weren't bad enough, they lay eggs. It really makes it hard to summon up despair when there's fresh eggs every day.
For despair is the very theme of my novel. "Life is meaningless and absurd," it tells the reader on every page, "and we must learn to live without hope." Great stuff, huh? But it's hard to keep focused on that when the tomatoes are coming in. And we have a great crop of tomatoes this year. This is a real hindrance to someone who wants to tell the dark unspeakable truths. I mean, every time I just get in the swing of saying how useless it all is, and what a darkly laughable joke is our pretense of happiness, there's more ripe tomatoes.
My main character, Bertholt, you'd love him, is the perfect emblem of all the sickness and rot deep in the core of humanity. He is both alienating and alienated. You would feel sorry for him, except he's so despicable you can't help loathing him. He's sure to fill you with self-hatred. Terrific, huh? Makes you want to go right out and buy it. The message is, humanity sucks, and we're lower than the lowest worm. But then, just as I'm really getting down to the nitty-gritty of the futility, cruelty, and deep horror of existence, Nancy goes and makes me a plate of cheese eggs and bacon.
I may never get this book written.