I got a yes on a short story earlier this week, and here was the moment, a physical memory, and this one good:
The day at work was long over, but I was still in my office. The cubes outside my office were dark, the cleaning people had already dropped the plastic bag outside my door, in wait for me to leave so they could empty my recycling. I had a project due that I hadn’t been able to work on all day so this was the moment in which I decided to take it home. I gathered up all the folders, one blazing red, and shoved them in a huge envelope. Then I shoved that in my backpack and struggled to zip it closed. It was only then, as an afterthought before logging out of my computer, that I checked my email. And the yes was in the inbox, sitting there mildly, as any other email would. I remember the shape of the letters in the subject line before I opened it, and I remember the visual shape the email made on my screen, its three short paragraphs, black type over white background. “Yes!” I said out loud, to no one. It would have startled anybody, had they been there to hear. I remember the smooth surface of my pale-colored desk, clean because I had hidden the huge project away in my backpack. I remember the weight of the backpack and not recalling why it was stuffed so full. I had forgotten the project. I had forgotten where I was.
I don’t remember my shoes, although of course I would have been wearing shoes, the same ones I have on today, but they felt different in that moment, lighter. I just remember the feeling of the moment, the astounding “Yes!” that shot out of my mouth. It’s a small thing, a short story in a journal, but I’m thrilled. I am thinking about it right now, a goofy little smile on my face as I write this.