Fantastical Escape Hatches

The way out is hard to find. The exits shift and move, the doors stay locked. You might want to escape your present reality, but—haha!—you are boxed in on all sides by debts unmanageable, jobs unattainable, and questionable luck. (Also, you’re such a klutz!)

Escape might come in any number of forms:

A win-for-life lotto ticket falls like an autumn leaf into our waiting hands.

A literary agent says, Hey I heard you sold your book, do you want to sell another before you even finish writing it and, oh, do you like chocolate because here I got you truffles.

A famous artist we used to know no longer needs his studio (a one-bedroom apartment in SoHo, spacious, full of light, a “gem”) and asks us if we will kindly sublet it for as many years as we want to for peanuts because we are nice people and he would like nice people to make use of the dishwasher in his spacious kitchen.

A movie studio decides to buy, back, fund, and produce our film, the one we technically haven’t written yet.

The script is written while we sleep and it’s brilliant and it makes us laugh and cry and enjoy life again. Also we think up a really great title.

Tin House did not in fact reject us for the scholarship to the writing conference and writes back to say, I’m sorry, that was a huge and awful mistake, here is a refund on all that you’ve paid, would you please still come and let’s publish your story too because we love it and, oh, do you like chocolate because here we got you truffles.

A job is offered that starts at two in the afternoon, ends at four, involves a lot of napping, and pays five times what we make now.

An anonymous benefactor clears our names with Sallie Mae and American Education Services and then buys us a flat in Paris.

Or, better yet, a president is elected who takes away the inordinate power given to such loan-lending monsters as Sallie Mae and AES and makes the bills more possible to pay by actual human beings and makes this country one we would never want to run away from in favor of Paris.

Though an escape hatch straight to Paris would be nice.

Or we work. We work at it and work at it and get up early every day to write, and find a way to write at night too, and save (by not ordering takeout! by not spending our anniversary weekend in San Francisco though we want to!), and motivate beyond all forms of motivation until we reach a new plane of existence in which we want less and accomplish more and forget how to stress. Only then, after much effort and much work, maybe then it will happen.

I’m tired just thinking of it. But stay tuned.


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