3 AM. I was still awake, writing. My story grew larger, coming to an end. Each keystroke bringing to life the end to another story.
"And they all lived happily ever after..." I said, the last keystroke adding a final period to my work. I saved, sent it off to the publisher. They would make their edits, send it back, tell me it was shit and to rewrite certain parts. Not that I cared, my agent was having publishers call him.
"Adam, you have deals coming in from everyone. Time wants you to do a cover story, New York Times is offering you a weekly column- along with every other newspaper. Random House wants you to write another horror story, Pearson wants a text book on English, Harper Collins called and is offering you two million just to sign a book deal and they don't care what it's about."
I stood in front of him, eyes barely open, half listening to his rambling on about how Oprah wanted me to be on her new show as a guest and have my latest book- A Wandering Stare- for her book club.
"So what would you like to work on?"
"Work on? Oh right. I was thinking of taking a break. After the last book, I need some time to think."
"Time to think? You're on top, Adam. You can't just quit when you're on top. Two million dollars from HarperCollins!"
I yawned. "Yeah, but it's OK. I made three million on A Wandering Stare so what's it matter? It's still selling too."
"Like hotcakes. You are on fire, and you're writing sets the world ablaze. You realize you have more potential than J.K. Rowling? Your book appeals to everyone."
"I wasn't really trying to appeal to five year olds, though."
"And yet, here look- I'll show you, a kindergarten class is using your book for an art project. An art project, Adam!"
"You do realize my name is Alan, right?"
"Alan, yes- what have I been saying?"
4 AM. The computer screen glared back at me, waiting for me to send the email off to the publisher. I was supposed to have it sent hours ago, but I didn't care.
I had been too busy to mess with sleep. I had just finished going around to talk shows, talking about my book. It was tiring.
"So tell us, what is your book about?"
I hated that question. It wasn't about just one thing. It was about so many things.
"It's a tough question to answer. What do you think the book is about?"
"Uh, well- I haven't actually read it just yet." Typical. On-air hosts asking me a question they don't care about.
"Well, when you do you can get back to me." That was my greatest response to them. I did it to every single host that said it, and so many did that someone made a YouTube video of me saying it over and over again.
"lolol this is wut the news is today geez that guy is such a hack"
5 AM. Comments like that never distracted me before. I enjoyed watching myself sing in autotune, especially when all my words were twisted to talking about sexual positions. At least, that's how they sounded. Now the comments make me wonder. Am I a hack, or are they just haters? What I wanted was to change the world, but who I have I truly inspired?
"I'm your biggest fan."
"I'm sure you are, who am I making this out to?" Everyone said they were my biggest fan. I was so tired of it. Every autograph signing someone told me they found me an inspiration. They told me they wanted to become a writer.
"Alright, there you go Molly."
"Thank you. Thank you so much." They all were so grateful for what I had accomplished, but to me it was just work.
"I'm your biggest fan."
"I'm sure you are, who am I making this out to?" I was just a robot on repeat.
"Michael." Every name meant nothing. It was just hard to keep track of how to spell everything.
"How do you spell that?"
"There you are Michael, thanks for being a fan."
"Thank you. You're a true inspiration." I could only smile. I was on top but I didn't care. I had fame, but I didn't care. I was never meant for this life.
6 AM. Why the hell am I still awake? The email that I was supposed to send hours ago sits there still, saved as a draft now for hours. I wasn't interested in actually sending it. I didn't care to. All I did was google my own name.
"Rumor: Author of 'A Wandering Stare' signs deal with NBC for TV show"
The headlines were hilarious to read. Rumors that I was dating Selena Gomez or Taylor Swift abounded- even though I had never met either of them. I happened to meet Ellen Page at a book signing event, and had lunch with her one day and the news was all about us dating. It was lunch. If it was dating my work would suffer.
I never signed a deal with NBC, but my agent was in talks. My agent was always in talks.
"Adam, you have to do this. It's a six point five million dollar deal for three years. Do that math, you'll be famous for three more years writing sitcoms and hey- maybe they'll even let you host Saturday Night Live."
"I don't think they'd let me host that show or even want me to be on camera. I don't have the right look."
"They'll give you that look. Listen, it's all about where you are and who you know. Now, have you been working on a sequel to A Wandering Stare?"
"A sequel? There's no sequel. There can't be. The story ended when I did."
"No, your fans want it. You signed a deal for a sequel already, it's supposed to be done in 6 months."
He always had something. He told me that 6 months ago.
"Your success is prevalent on this sequel. You have to write it beautifully, but be fast about it. They want it out by Thanksgiving. You got 6 months to send them something or your career is over."
I wrote. I ignored the rest of the world. Every keystroke to finish this story they wanted. Every second giving them my soul.
7 AM. The sun was up. The email wasn't sent. I hadn't put any effort into my writing. I didn't care. What I had become was not something I wanted. Changing the world with my work is what I wanted. This was Hollywood garbage. No one saw the true meaning of my work.
I read over the story again. I hadn't titled it, but I enjoyed it. I knew that when they asked me on talk shows what it was about. I knew what I would say when fans called me an inspiration. I knew what I would say when my agent called me Adam again.
8 AM. I clicked my mouse over to the main part of the letter and erased my standard reply.
"I apologize for my tardiness. I wanted to insure it was a great read."
I hit send, got up and laid in my bed. There was no good way to conclude what I had done. I conformed, but I hated it. I couldn't die, because I still wanted to make a difference and I feared death. Drugs never were something I was good with, and neither was alcohol. I had no ending for how to deal with my problem. I could only sleep and hope that one day I would come to some conclusion.
If only that was a proper ending.