I’ve been trying to write a novel for nearly nine years and at this point people must think I’m lying to them about it. And I’m not lying to them- I HAVE been working on a novel for nearly nine years. It’s just I don’t have much to show for it that is going to make it look like it has been nine years of hard work.
For about nine years now I’ve been telling my various acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family members that a novel has been in the works by none other than the person standing before you. And last night I was lying in bed regretting some shit I’m going to tell you about in a few seconds when I realized that not only have I been lying to my various acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family members about a novel that has been in the works by none other than the shell of a person standing before you, but I have been lying to my landlord about some shit I’ll tell about in a few seconds.
This kind circular logic has been keeping me from getting anywhere substantial.
“It’s about a hotel that eats people,” I’ll tell them. Then they tell me that 1408 came out a few years ago. I know.
This one girl I was trying to sleep with on our first date because she was not very smart told me that “Psycho, that Vince Vaughn movie, already tried the haunted motel thing. ”
“No, no no,” I told her, shifting most of my lower body weight onto her lower body, “First of all, it’s a book; it’s not a movie. Second: I’m not writing about a haunted motel; I’m writing about a hotel that haunts people and eats them. Thirdly, Psycho isn’t about a haunted hotel. Finally, I thin-”
She cuts me off as I begin to unzip my pants. “But still the idea of fear in a setting like a hotel or motel has been done before. It’s just not a-.”
“Now now, Jenna, lets not say something we may regret at a later date. Right now I just want to look into your eyes and count how many times a minute you blink. Also, we’re having unprotected sex.”
“How come?” she purrs.
“Because you are not very smart. Now be quiet, my ex-girlfriend is here”
“You have an ex-girlfriend?”
“Yes, but she doesn’t know it yet.”
“I read The Shining and the movie was better, son,” my father barked from across the table.
“You’re a fucking liar!” my stepmother yelled.
“No, Betty, I read The Shining in third grade,” my father replies, choking to death on his dinner. He was never good with remembering– whether it was literature, chewing food, or loving me.
“No, Chris is the goddamn fucking liar Robert”
Oh no, Betty’s gone off her rocker again, I thought. “No Betty, I’m not lying to you,” I cried, “That’s what my book is about: it’s a hotel that eats people. It’s more intricate than that but I don’t want to spoil the end–”
“YOU’RE LYING!” she roared, throwing cheap cutlery at my boyish, handsome face.
“Stop yelling at at the boy Betty, he has no idea that he’s done wrong,” my choking father bellowed over the table like some sort of dad who works too much.
“Wrong… Done wrong? Dad, what have I done wrong?” I cowered behind my boyish, handsome face.
Betty started seizing.
“Ah Christ, Betty” my father sighed. “Goddammit I’ll tell the fucking boy then. Stop this seizing shit Betty,” he sputtered.
My family members are always asking if my novel is about them. “It’s about all of you,” I’ll tell them, whispering over the dinner table. My cousin, she doesn’t like that. She thought a novel about my family would be good until I fucked her.
Anyways, I’ve only written about three paragraphs of the entire novel. This selection emotes the quintessence of the entire novel’s artistic intent. Unfortunately, all I can show you is the epilogue. I’m not afraid somebody’s going to misappropriate it if I post it online; I’m just hoping somebody doesn’t steal the concept.
After the incident at the hotel, we all sort of did our own separate things. The experience had shaped where we were going to be taking our lives from that point forward. Drastic mental rehabilitation was in store for everybody, especially me.
AJ quit playing World of Warcraft. He was done with the obsessive tendencies that had crippled his sense of well-being. He got better after that. The loss of his left eye really gave him a new outlook on life. Small objects were hard for him to grab at times and his driving skills—something only a fuckwit simpleton could look up to before– were completely decimated. In the end, AJ was forced to walk everywhere and his eye patch was kind of annoying to look at. I never spoke to him again.
Katy had it better. She won the Lottery on a ticket she bought on the way back home from the hotel. It was something like 87 billion dollars, I don’t fucking know. Bitch buys herself an island in the Caymans or something, never comes back. Go ahead; leave me alone in the country with a friend who doesn’t have a good sense of depth perception and a fucking gay ass vegetable. That’s the best thing you could have done, Katy. The best thing ever. Good Christ I hope you’re reading this right now on your own little private beach, hanging out in the sun with a private two-story cabana, drinking something pink with a goddamn umbrella in it, laughing at how you got away from the hotel and how you don’t have nightmares at night and you don’t suffer fits every time you hear its name…and the screaming.
The Caymans were always queer to me, anyways.
The night terrors never stopped for me. Everywhere I go I still see children…all of those children…ripping Jeremy apart like he was a giant twinkie. Slurping up all the cream-filling inside him. Some nights I find myself wandering back to the Hotel California, just trying to make the screams stop— to stop the screaming children from following me and eating my friend in front of my very eyes over and over and…over…again.
Even now, I’m writing this from the 17th floor of the Hotel California. I’m in room 1793. That’s the room the Walrus raped Megan in. It’s a walrus! I’m getting raped by a fucking walrus! That was in this room. But there’s no evidence of the event anywhere—only memories live in this room. Tonight, I hope the memories will die in this room.