I record here verbatim an incident that occurred this morning as I was settling down to write.
My book: Back off, will you?
Me: Er, sorry, what..?
My book: I think you heard.
Me: Well, yes. Actually I did. And since you bring it up, I've been meaning, that is, I've been wanting to, er, have a word with you.
My book: A word?
Me: Look, it's always difficult to say this kind of thing. But we've been together long enough now and we ought to be able to speak freely. You know, we've got a deadline coming up, and...
Me: So, the thing is, I was just wondering, whether, I mean, that is I want to ask you if you could be a little bit less...tough. There, I've said it.
My book: Tough?
My book: Tough??
Me: Well, er, yes.
My book: What the xxxx do you mean by that?
Me: Now listen, I'm sure there's no need for that kind of language.
My book: Oh, you're sure about that, are you?
Me: I'd just be grateful if you could be a bit easier.
My book: Easier? Easier? You think this is easy?
Me: No, I don't! That's the point; it's hard enough as it is without you being really difficult.
My book: Difficult?
Me: Yes, difficult. To write.
My book: Oh here we go...
Me: You're just making things very hard.
My book: Yeah? Well it would help if you weren't such a pussy.
Me: I beg your pardon?
My book: You going deaf, or something? You are such a loser.
Me: Now just you...
My book: No! Don't do that to me. That's what you always do, isn't it? Always with the whining and the complaints. Why don't you just stop being so pathetic all the time, huh? Show some goddamn determination or something! Some backbone. Jeez! All I ever hear is "it's so hard" and "no one understands". Well try sitting here all day and listening to you bleating on. THAT'S hard, believe me, that's really hard. If writing me is so xxxxxxx hard then why don't you go and get a proper job?!
Me: A proper job.
My book: Yeah, like delivering the mail, or working the rigs. Or welding.
My book: Anything, just stop being so puny.
Me: Oh I see. You think I'm weak.
My book: Oh he sees. Oh he gets it. The light goddamn dawns. Well thank xxx for that. Yes! I think you're a xxxxxxxx xxxxx. I think you ought to just xxxx your xxxx and xxxx the xxx. See?
Me: Now just you stop that.
My book: Or you'll what? You gonna teach me a lesson, izzat it? Show me who's boss? You gonna take me out back and pop a cap in me? You gonna nail my xxx? Haw, haw, you make me wanna xxxx. You really do. You're nothing but a xxx. A xxxxxxx waste of a xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx. I oughta xxxx your xxxx you xxx before I xxxxxxx xx xxxx and then xxx you xxxxx. Xxxx!
At that point I hit the delete key. But he knows as well as I do that I'll come crawling back. There's still that deadline, and he's still there, waiting for me, in the trash.