Private: Rats

Dennis DiClaudio evidently has the same scattered approach to writing that I do, but he manages to write about it with aplomb:

I have stories like rats; malformed, maladroit, malnourished on slips of paper, backs of receipts, half finished in half-filled notebooks infesting my home so that I cannot walk into the kitchen without being reminded of some progeny which I had nursed partially into creation and then left to rot beside the toaster. They scutter across the floor and meet my gaze when I least wish to be reminded of their existence. I am oppressed. I have trouble coping.

Several evenings ago, I returned home in good spirits after drinking with friends, and, upon turning on the light, found no less than a dozen of them in congress on my living room floor. They and I froze for a long instant, and then suddenly there was a flurry of activity and they had retreated back into the corners and shadows….

Dennis says the best New Yorker “Shouts & Murmurs” piece of recent years is: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned by Having My Arms Ripped Off by a Polar Bear.”