Well, I’m calling in…

Well, I'm calling in sick for the first time. I feel tremendously guilty about it; but since I also feel pretty cruddy, I don't think I'd do the students much good if I went in. I couldn't sleep last night (tonight?). It's 5 a.m., and my alarm just went off. Normally I'd be stumbling into the shower right now. But I took a shower around 1 a.m., hoping that the warm water would make me sleepy. No luck. I just lay in bed for a few hours afterward, trying to sleep and feeling awful and feverish. Around 3 I got up, read a comic book (thanks again, Jed, for Strangers in Paradise!) and then started working.

I started making minor revisions to "Challah". I think it needs a major rewrite, but that's a hell of a lot of typing. I'm not sure I'm up to printing the whole thing out, and then retyping it, but I'm pretty sure that's the only way I'll make the sweeping changes that may need to happen. I'm going to think about it a while longer and read the critiques.

What I did accomplish this morning (tonight?) was integrating the Shefali/Roshan/Gabriel relationship into the overall family network I'm working with for this semi-demi-novel. I never knew that figuring out who married who and when and plugging in all the appropriate birth and marriage and death dates could be so interesting. I guess this is part of why people do genealogies for themselves. And why my mother and aunts and sister sit around for hours talking about people who really are essentially total strangers; they're incorporating them into the network, and storytelling.

For those who have been following these stories and are curious, I've figured out that Shefali is Latika's daughter (one of Lakshmi's older sisters (Lakshmi is Chaya's mother (Chaya is Minal's cousin (Minal is Raji's niece, and if you don't know who Raji is, then you *really* haven't been paying attention...go read "Season of Marriage" in my stories section :-), and Roshan is Ashok's son by his second wife, Sahana (his first wife was Riddhi, Raji's older sister). Which means that Roshan is Minal's half-sibling, but neither one of them knows that. And he's probably Shefali's half-second cousin, or something, but that shouldn't be a problem since Indians marry their first cousins reasonably often.

Gabriel, of course, isn't related to any of these people, and I'm sure he thanks his lucky stars for that.

God, I love these people. It's nuts. I make something up; I give someone a tragic history -- lost love, a dead child, and suddenly my heart is breaking for them. They don't exist! I made them up! I made some of them up less than an hour ago, like Sahana... (poor Sahana; got pregnant by Ashok, but his parents wouldn't let him marry her, so her folks married her off quickly to someone else, and then he died a few years later, *just* after Ashok's parents finally nag him into a marriage, leaving her alone with her son, Roshan -- and even though they carried on a clandestine affair, and Ashok finally got up the nerve to stand up to his parents (which incidentally meant leaving his wife and baby daughter, so don't feel too sorry for him (of course, his wife *was* an idiot)), divorce his wife, and marry Sahana, she never quite recovered from the whole mess; she's still insecure and easily upset, and she just dotes on Roshan, her only child who she wants to have everything she never had; the perfect wedding, the perfect marriage (he was a rough birth, and tore her up so that she can't have any more children) -- so you can imagine how she has an *awful* time when she finds out that he's gay. Even if he *is* married to Shefali (who's pregnant by him, thanks to Gabriel's help) at that point...)

Why do I know so much about Sahana?? I hadn't even been planning to tell her story, or Ashok's, but I started thinking about Roshan's parents, and suddenly I know all this stuff, and what am I supposed to do with it? Just leave it unsaid? I suppose it would protect her privacy, which is important to her (in fact, most of the community still assumes that Roshan is her son by her *first* husband), but it's such a good story. I doubt I'll be able to restrain myself. Besides it's the only instance of adultery I have so far; too many of my characters are too good. It's all right to have a few be virtuous souls, but it's just not plausible to have several families be filled solely with righteous prigs.

Oops; fingers are hurting. Guess I should take a break; maybe I'll make some breakfast and pretend I slept and act like it's a normal morning. I could lie down again, but I know I'd just feel miserable; if I keep working, it'll keep my mind off how my poor body feels.

Till later, my dears.

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