You know that scene in the movie A Christmas Story by the wonderful, late Jean Shepherd, where Ralphy has just written an essay about what he wants for Christmas? I’m Ralphy right now. In my head, I hear the teacher / literary agent whipping through all the horrible queries in her email in box, screeching, “Fail, fail, fail!”
Then my partial comes along. She reads and sighs. “Finally! A-plus, plus, plus!” she exclaims and writes it on the chalkboard behind her.
“Sheer poetry!” she says in her next breath, the bliss of discovery of my immense talent overwhelming. She clicks open my attachment and sends the pages to her printer then clutches them to her chest. “I must have more!” she mutters in a maniacal voice.
Back at her computer, she frantically types a response, begging for the full manuscript, then hits send. Her hands clasped at her chest, she sighs again.
::::sound of record scratching::::
“You can take your seat now.”
I nod at her stupidly.
“Claire, please sit down.”
I do. And I wait, praying that she won’t say “You’ll shoot your eye out.”