Putting a piece out there, to land on the desk of someone you don’t know, to send it off alone, unadorned, to ring the bell. I know we tell them to stand up straight, to comb their hair, and please no messy foods just before you arrive. We format them and, in the old days, folded them, one staple — upper left hand corner (oh, shit or was it the right — diagonal or square ?), the point is we dress them with loving care and send them off and live with hope for weeks and even months. And, yes, the answer, more time than not and usually is a form reply. Your work does not meet our needs at this time. We thank you…it is a privilege to read… we know what care you took…. but they didn’t know our dreams, that this time, this one.
And finally, when we read it again, after being gone so long, and returned in such a fashion, we see the cracks and faults and blemishes.
We sigh, and start again.