Freelance dreams can be so cruel. Last night my devious cranium outlined a diabolical lie of exposure and prosperity. Doesn’t my subconscious realize our economy’s perilous state? Why must it tease so hard?
In this vision I received an e-mail from Salon, asking me to become a paid blogger. Somehow an editor stumbled across this Queen piece and other ham-handed screeds, and, baby, that was it. I stepped from my chair into their empire to conference with my phantom savior, a gregarious sort known in my dream-trade as a “juicer,” i.e., one who augments a writer’s text with zest and punch. I caught him stabbing a Kevin Smith profile with fluid alliterations and hard-action verbs that nevertheless maintained the integrity of the existing piece. “If a ‘motherfucker’ fits,” he chortled, “in it goes.” I had to laugh, since I’ve often been told that “motherfucker” is my prized epithet, a linguistic fingerprint, so to speak. A friend once observed that every time I close a Word document, the paper-clip icon pops in and asks, “Would you like to insert an arbitrary ‘motherfucker’ before saving?”
I began thinking about the all-parties e-mails I’d fire at my homies. The Facebook-wall graffito. They’d see the salon.com link and know I’d made it. The chasm in my savings would vanish beneath a cash-flow shadow. The euphoria was so real that I naturally woke up in a panic. What the hell would I write about? Once the dither faded, I realized it had never happened. There was relief, light sadness, then a flurry of black down perforated white. It’s what I do.