My friend Cassie saw the Band-Aid and asked how I had hurt my hand. I glanced at it briefly and, unable to think of a decent lie, told her the truth. (It's not that I'm delicate, it's just that it's embarrassing to hurt yourself masturbating -- or it is when you're not in a position to boast that you're out of practice.) I think this made her regret asking, but she said she would get over it.
Ordinarily I am a good liar. One of my earliest memories is of telling a friend of mine from kindergarten that we had big holes in our carpet because our pet dinosaur kept eating it. (In actuality we had big holes in our carpet because my parents, despite being obsessive in small things, are on the whole remarkably slovenly. But the carpet was a hideous color, and so the less of it the better as far as I was concerned.) Even at that age I realized that this was a pretty thin story, and I was astonished when my friend serenely accepted it. Then in college I partially convinced two reasonably intelligent classmates that President Taft suffered from an extremely rare congenital condition that left him without any bones in his face. I claimed that he looks different in each of his portraits because every day when he woke up he had to have his face remolded anew by the sculptor he employed specifically for this purpose.
"How come we never learned about this in school?" they demanded.
"They don't want to undermine your confidence in the office of the presidency," I said.
"Then how come you know about it?"
"I read it in one of those trivia books, you know, 101 Bizarre Facts About U.S. Presidents or something like that."
They told me they were going to ask their history professor whether President Taft had bones in his face or not. I told them they should. They probably didn't, because like hurting your hand masturbating, the fact that President Taft had no bones in his face isn't easy to talk about. But I like to think they did.
For the first time since I started my novel I have encountered an obstacle that forces me to backtrack. Last night I gutted Chapter Six, removing two thousand words and leaving several gaping holes in their place. Now it remains only for me to replace them with something more conducive to the overall narrative, even if it doesn't allow me to mention the Hydrience hair color that most closely approximates Becker's (10 Seashell, as I determined after about half an hour on their website). The retooled Chapter Six will involve all kinds of things I know very little about, such as pest control, Otherkin, and Ritalin abuse. But I can do it, 'cause I'm a good liar.
I feel bad making you guys wait so long -- almost as bad as I feel making the book wait this long. I console myself with the fact that when I do post Chapter Six you won't comment anyway. Because I was obviously born only to suffer and die. Why, I can't even whack off without injuring myself.
Soon, though. For real.
Total word count: 42,130