Releasing my next book in the Bay Area wouldn’t have made it a better or more successful book.
Visting Berkeley wouldn’t have made me a better or more successful author.
So why am I so attached to the idea of those acts that I find myself much more upset about not being able to do them than I have a right to be?
I feel like I was allowing myself to treat the whole affair like an act of sympathetic magic, even if that isn’t what I had told myself; in fact, I flat denied to my publisher that my trip to Berkeley was a pilgrimage when he called it that (my publisher does not know about these memories and probably wouldn’t care).
I lied to myself. I had made big plans and vested hopes of an act of sympathetic magic, then lied to myself about it. Sometimes it takes a disappointment to bring you back to earth on something like this.
This has no bearing on whether or not I was Phil; the fact is that whether or not I was him, I’m not him any more and I have to keep from falling into the morass of trying to re-live what was honestly a very unhappy and squandered life for the most part.
My book will be fine. Life will go on. Berkeley will still be there in a few months or years or however long it takes to get back to the Bay Area again (barring “the big one” hitting).
Also, my book hasn’t lost one of it’s main purposes: this book is a letter to myself first and foremost. It’s full of triggers meant to invoke the lives I lived previous to this one as well as my current life. If my future self finds this book, I hope the message gets through. It’s more likely to find its way to my future self if I use the extra few weeks I now have to hone this book as well as I can into something magnificent.