I blamed myself for a couple of things that went wrong at work, at least one of which was not my fault. I made some mistakes typing some invoices from a template, which was a bit of carelessness on my part. Also, Dropbox was not working on my computer properly, which meant that J couldn’t access the files I was working on and vice versa. J suggested deleting Dropbox and reinstalling. I deleted, but was having trouble reinstalling when J said we should go home and leave it for Thursday. I feel like we are leaving earlier and earlier (probably because the traffic is getting worse and worse), but I guess J is the boss and he gets to decide when we go. I am concerned about sorting the Dropbox problem, but ultimately it’s not my responsibility (yes, I do take responsibility for things that are outside my control).

I texted PIMOJ in the morning to see how she was as we always do. I didn’t hear from her all day until I got a thumbs up emoji from her just before I left work this afternoon. We exchanged one or two texts, but nothing like what we usually do. We “went” (on Zoom) to a shiur (religious class) just now and I texted her to see what she thought of it, but she hasn’t replied yet, or even looked at the text. I’m not sure what is going on there any more and I feel pessimistic about it. Maybe she’s just giving me space, as yesterday I think I came across as passive-aggressive and when she asked if I was OK I said I was in my “cave.” Maybe she thinks I’m still there, my texts notwithstanding.

I guess I feel a bit hurt by everything that happened in the last few days. I do wonder what she thinks of me, whether she thinks I’m some immoral or irreligious person. I think our religious outlooks are different. She sees God and signs of His goodness everywhere, particularly in nature and in positive things in her life; I find it harder to find God in a world of suffering and a life that has really not gone to plan, and inevitably that was reflected in my writing. That’s what the situation with my book boils down to, beyond the sex, that she sees God everywhere in the world, and I struggle to find Him anywhere.

I feel a bit responsible, but also like I got hit by something out of nowhere. I didn’t want to let PIMOJ read my novel at this stage (albeit as much because I didn’t think it was polished enough than because of the content), but I felt pushed into it, and now who knows what is happening between us. This may be me trying to take responsibility for things that are not in my control again.

***

Perhaps because I was feeling depressed, I bid on eBay yesterday for a back-issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#242), the issue before I started reading the magazine regularly. I’ve mentioned recently my nostalgia for the DWM of that period (my teenage years) and wanted to read a couple of articles and interviews in that issue that I missed out on at the time. I hope I don’t start regularly buying back issues though, as it could be expensive. I only bid for this because, with just a couple of hours left, there were no bidders and a starting bid of £1. In the end I got it for £1, plus £2 postage, which is cheaper than the cover price of the current issue. I’m not sure if that’s the first time I’ve won a bid on eBay.

Also, this Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition is in stock again, surprisingly, and I put in an order for it, so it looks like I’m having a good time on the DWM front if nothing else!

12 thoughts on “What Happened?

  1. I hope that it all works out; unfortunately, sometimes the resolution isn’t what we want it to be. It’s hard not to overthink everything. I’m guilty of that myself.

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  2. Oof. I do I think your feelings of hurt are justified. You felt pressured to share your novel sooner than you wanted to and it sounds like PIMOJ reacted pretty negatively to it. I don’t think that writing about abuse, depression, rape, and other difficult topics is necessarily inappropriate for a frum novel – the reality is that these things happen in the frum world too. And it sounds like your novel is intended as a work of fiction, not as a book on Jewish spirituality or inspiration. At least that is the sense I got from here.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sounds like you fear PIMOJ is backing off a little and this is making you anxious. Maybe wait a while to see if this is really the case – you may be worrying unnecessarily. If it is, you could consider addressing it directly. Ask her if your book has made her uncomfortable about you. For some people who hold strong religious views, there is no good reason for depicting what they consider immoral in fiction. For them the purpose of any writing is to edify and uplift, to get away from the ugliness of the world which pollutes the mind, not to depict reality. And for some deeply religious people sexual sin is particularly taboo. Remember the way the religious censors banned great writers like DH Lawrence (Lady Chatterley)? Hope you can reassure her that your faith commitment is not in doubt, and maybe, share with her your other less contentious writing – your Dr Who book, for example.

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    1. She does seem to have backed off. Yesterday her responses were very short and to the point, and formal and today she hasn’t messaged at all. I’m going to wait a few days before contacting her again, although I will need to contact her at some point, as she still has a book I lent her (not the one I wrote!).

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