Can I tell you it’s been a personally exhausting week, or have you already figured it out?
Yeah. It’s been a personally exhausting week.
I came home last night, reached into the mailbox, expecting to pull out bills or junk mail or the latest menu from the new pizza-wings-fried chicken outlet that promises to deliver to Green Island for a minimum $15 food order and a $2 delivery charge.
And then I felt the cards inside the mailbox.
Little white postcards from Syracuse, my indications as to whether any of my artworks for 2016 – my six photographs and my “Cathedral of St. Philco” church dollhouse – made the cut or were not accepted.
I’ve already blocked out Monday as a travel day for the “Drive of Shame,” my colloquial sobriquet for the retrieval of entries that would not hang on the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center. I get it. It happens. Nobody gets ALL their items selected. I figure I have to pick SOMETHING up for the trip home.
But I have cards in my mailbox. And until I check the results, all the artworks made it in. Ha. Until I check the results, all the artworks were rejected. Ho. My mailbox should have the name Schroedinger on it.
I close my eyes and remove the postcards from the mailbox. My fingers fumble around to feel for the postage stamps on the cards; in doing so, I orient the cards so that the accepted/not accepted portion of the card is on the back, away from an accidental reveal.
Once I’m sure all cards are oriented properly…
Then I open my eyes.
There they are. Each postcard with a little checkmark on its back.
I go inside. Sit down. Deep breath.
Come on, cards… give me one entry. One solid entry.
Let’s start with The Saratoga and North Creek Railroad.
Okay, maybe my Niagara 1970 1995 2016 splitfilm picture made the list.
Oh for two. Come on, maybe The Pier at St. Augustine Beach had to break through –
Oh for three. Backstretch… at least give me Backstretch…
Damn it. How about at least Lauren and the Leaves? Can I at least get the lenticular print in there?
Oh for five. That leaves just The Pew of Holy Innocents and my little church dollhouse, The Cathedral of Saint Philco.
Well, I went through the postcards I had…
But those postcards for Pew and Cathedral aren’t in the pack. And since the post office doesn’t deliver on Sunday… I don’t know if those artworks were accepted or not.
And then I looked at the postcards again.
And I noticed something. Something odd.
Two of my rejected entries – Lauren and the Leaves and Backstretch – were initially marked as “Accepted,” but then were scribbled out and the “Not Accepted” entry was circled instead.
That’s very strange. Almost as if someone said, “Oh wait, that’s a Chuck Miller entry? Scribble scribble scribble…”
I know what happens now.
Drive of Shame. To pick up five entries. And possibly the other two as well.
Let’s see. Rejected at Iowa. Rejected at the Hariban. And now … possibly rejected at the New York State Fair, for the second time in three years.
And if somebody tells me, “Chuck, you’re being too dramatic, you shouldn’t take these things personally…”
Well, maybe I shouldn’t.
But this isn’t happening to you, is it?