Everyone remembers the first time they had sex. My first time was awkward, embarrassing, and brutal to my ego. Still, I remember it clearly–and with some fondness–because it was my first. There’ll never be another of those.
True to Charles’ prediction about the silence bubble bursting, I received my first rejection letter yesterday, less than a week after sending out the query. And, to again echo that First Time, the event was graceless, shaming–and mercifully brief.
The sword drove in so fast I didn’t really see it coming. Nevertheless, the cut was quick and true. Being run through is never pleasant, but, as it was done with a polite explanation and a sincere apology, I’d have to say it was a fairly bearable sensation given its nature–sort of like being skewered by a velvet-clad blade instead of plain, cold steel.
Despite the disappointment, I feel the need to enjoy this moment. I’ve passed many milestones in the past year: finishing my novel, writing a synopsis (no mean feat for me), and then relinquishing the privacy of my work for the judgment of the professional world. Those markers now stand behind me, granite obelisks charting the distance I’ve trod on the road to becoming an author. And now I have one more monument to add to my collection.
For good or bad, the emotions evoked by all subsequent rejections will never compare to this one, the one that started it all. Like that initiatory romp in the sack, there can be no other firsts. Many may–ahem–arrive after, but none will ever be its match.