There is a moment in which a child goes from learning to ride a bike to actually riding one. One push, a realization of balance, and it’s done. The child is independent in a way that, a splitsecond earlier, he was not. You have taught him to wear his helmet. You have taught him to look both ways. And now everything is different, never to be the same.

It’s that way finishing a book. I know this for a fact: I finished this one three minutes ago.

I hit “Send”, and off it went through the air to the agent I hope will represent it and me. Nothing more to do. Nothing more to think. I watch it peddle away to its own independent life, and I ask myself “who am I, now?”

I’ve surprised myself. I’m doing better than I expected to, for someone so heart-immersed in the work for so long. I am not crying or shivering or rending my garments in sorrow. Those moments have already come and gone (and if they come back, I’m ready for them.) If anything, I’m feeling a little numb.

The thing I have loved and nurtured has gone away. To its own fate; its own future. I’ve done everything for it that I can. In a thoroughly schizophrenic way, it lives inside me and outside me at the same time. But it has–and must have–a life of its own.

Tomorrow I’ll start falling in love all over again. I’ll start getting to know the people, the ideas, the hearts and minds and bigger ideas waiting in the blank pages of a new notebook. I’ll begin my research. I’ll post here about what it’s like to start over. I’ll look forward to my dear friends coming for dinner on Wednesdays. Maybe I’ll have a beer. That’s what normal people do, isn’t it?

I am, for this briefest of moments, sane again. And I’m not liking it much. Madness, come back. Soon.

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