This the meal. And this is the bottle of wine I bought in Napa and saved for weeks. And this is what Carol and I ate and drank on the day we finished our novels.
I’ve been doing this all summer, or at least doing it along with all the other things I’ve been doing. Along with a lot of traveling, cooking and running. It was not novel-writing. It was something very different and in many ways much harder and more infuriating: novel editing. I wrote the first draft four years ago, during my first year living in New York. Two other drafts followed. And then, just when I was at my utmost, ready-to-set-it-alight frustration with the third draft, Carol, my lovely Carol, said, It sounds like it’s time to let it go. Send it to me, tell me the things that are frustrating you, and I will try to give you some fresh perspective. And she did. And I didn’t burn it. I spent the summer writing the fourth and (I hope, I think) final draft, and Carol spent the summer writing a final draft of her novel. And then we celebrated.
We celebrated Carol’s 40th birthday that night, too. It’s not for a month, but I knew I would be gone by that time, so I insisted. Anyway, I celebrate birthdays for months. It’s just what I do. And even if I didn’t, people like Carol must be celebrated every day anyway.