Chérie is a Real Writer, agented, working on her first novel. You may view her previous guest-post compositions in the posts menu, conveniently tagged "Chérie L'Ecrivain."
Dear [Loved One]:I understand that your [wedding/baby/birthday] is the most important thing that has ever happened [within the confines of the five boroughs/on the Eastern seaboard/throughout recorded history], and because we are [friends/family/awkwardly thrown together due to overlapping social circles], it is my most sincere desire to support you through this [joyful/costly/potentially disastrous] endeavor. However, please try to appreciate that my own resources are quite limited in terms of [finances/patience/the number of hours in a given week that are not spent catering to the needs of others] and that I may only be able to attend [one/two/three] of the [four/nine/sixteen] events that have been deemed necessary to thoroughly celebrate your [aforementioned occasion].
My love for you is [infinite/unconditional/beginning to wear a bit thin], and please understand that when I [ignore your phone calls/cancel our plans/change my address without telling you] is it not because I do not enjoy the pleasure of your company, but because there are times when I derive the greatest pleasure from having no company at all. I am anxiously awaiting the creation of a social networking site designed to isolate me from, rather than connect me to, the incessant yippity yap of the universe. Just having to share a species with [Jon Gosselin/Glenn Beck/Fred Durst] feels like indignity enough, yet the fact that this person's [name/face/narrative] is taking up space in my brain seems completely fucking unfair and makes me want to self-induce some sort of crude lobotomy by banging my head against the hardwood floors of my apartment until I mercifully black out. I literally saw a man answer his cell phone in the library the other day--not in the hushed tones of "I hate to do this but it could be an emergency, I shall whisper into my iPhone whilst sprinting outside, mortified," but in a standard "Hey brah, what are you doing? Yeah, I'm in the library" type of voice, pacing back and forth in front of the checkout counter as though he were alone in his own kitchen. [Loved one], sometimes I think I would have been happier in a time when you had to speak to an operator to call from Brooklyn to Queens and if I went out on more than five dates with a gentleman, I might begin referring to him as my "fella," but there's no use pining for that lost era, and also, I'm not sure I would like having my ass grabbed constantly at work.
It does not help that much of the time my brain seems to only operate in two modes, dazzling euphoria or paralyzing anxiety, and there are nights when I am kept awake by my [obsessive/compulsive/hysterically circular and paranoid] thinking, going over and over humiliations both real and imagined, from recent times and the long long ago, much like a meth addict single-mindedly taking apart every radio and telephone in his prefabricated mobile home. The universe graciously bestowed upon me [John Jameson Finest Irish Whiskey/astonishingly loud rock and roll music/movies about asteroids sharks and dinosaurs] so that from time to time I might blissfully stupefy myself and maybe even sleep for more than four hours in a row. Still, these delights are not quite enough to keep me a fully-functional human being, and I rely firmly upon both reading and writing to turn off the itchy, toothless, meth addict part of my brain that can't seem to quit dismantling the toaster oven. Only a good story--whether I'm the reader or the writer--can get that motherfucker to put down his screwdriver and take a goddamn nap.
Therefore, [loved one], if a moment presents itself when I can actually get down to the business of writing and magically forget about [the stupid thing I said when I was drunk last weekend/the lack of funds in my bank account/my pathological fear of intimacy and subsequent inability to find a suitable mate], if I can somehow escape from both the universe's yippity yap and my own, then no, I can't [answer the phone when it rings, even if you only want to talk for five minutes/just take a break for an hour to meet you for dinner/attend your week-long birthday celebration, conveniently located in the magical forests of Endor].And while you can plead all you want for me to take a break from my work and come join you, please understand that, most of the time, the work is the break I need from everything else.