“The Last 5 Percent”


I’m pretty good at math. Especially for a writer. I was doing my older sister’s algebra homework when I was still in fifth grade. When my brother was struggling to even pass his math courses, I was haughtily taking on all challengers. There was a time in my life, before discovering writing, when I thought I would find a career in mathematics.

I say all of this as pretext to this little anecdote.

After work tonight, I sat and had a couple of post-shift drinks with the bartender while we discussed the paths of our life. He talked about some of his regrets having put his musical ambitions on hold while he got a “real” college degree. I told him about the tumultuous period of my project in which I lived with a girlfriend.

Eventually we came upon the inevitable: The end of 10 Cities / 10 Years. August 31st, 2015 will be the official last day of a decade long pursuit. March 1st marked the beginning of the last 6 months.

The bartender poured me another beer and shot of whiskey and casually asked: “What are you going to do with the last 5 percent?”

My first instinct when he said that was to correct them. That’s ridiculous, I thought, it’s not just 5 percent. It’s much more than that. A few seconds of mental calculations later, I realized he was right.

As good as my mental math skills are, I’ll admit that for a brief moment the numbers didn’t add up. It couldn’t possibly be that little, right? Well shit, the math checks out. After 9 and 1/2 years,* I am 19/20ths of the way through a project that has been the raison d’etre of my entire life. 1/20th remains. That is, indeed, 5 percent.

Holy flurking schnit.

I don’t know what to think about that. I don’t know what comes next. I don’t know.

I’m…

I don’t know.

I’m not sure what kind of precedent exists for what I’ve done. I’m not naïve enough to believe that what I’m so close to completing is groundbreaking or even slightly important. It was (and is) a self-indulgent endeavor taken on because I was too lazy or too bored or too selfish to attempt a practical life.

But I did it, all the same. And save for getting hit by a bus or getting knocked off by one of Obama’s Death Panels, it looks like I’m going to pull it off. 10 Cities. 10 Years. 120 Months. 1000 detours.

The last 5 Percent.

Sacrebleu!

This Way Out

*Okay, so technically I spent an extra 3 months in Costa Mesa (the 3rd year) which messes up the percentages, but I’m going to ignore that for the purpose of this post. You have a problem with that, you can go fuck yourself.

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