There are times, like right now, when I sit down to write and I do it as one of those “summon at will” sessions where I am going to write something, and I have no idea what it is, not even right now. What I would like to write is either the connective tissue between two chapters of my novel, or a scene from the novel that I don’t quite understand as of yet. It came to me just the other day and I would have written it out last night, but no, I had to have horse drama and tire drama punctuated with dog drama.
Elbow has taken me on as her personal trainer and we’ve been walking nearly every day. When I walk for exercise I walk like a man possessed, churning out the miles and working up a sweat. Elbow dithers. She’s got zero chance of every getting out of a house fire because she’ll go back in for something even if she does make it out, and she isn’t going to make it out because there is something she has to do before she can get started doing anything at all. It is no small wonder she didn’t have kids until she was in her thirties. No but really, I can call her half an hour before I arrive and tell her when I am going to get there, and she isn’t ready when I get there. There are some religions that speak of a judgment day, a day of reckoning where everyone will come before some stern looking dude wrapped in a sheet wearing sandals and I can well imagine Elbow being forty minutes late for it and scolding him for trying to rush her.
Dealing with Elbow is a lesson is patience that I really need to learn anyway. I mean, when it gets right down to it, unless you’re doing brain surgery or trying to get out of a house fire, how many times is ten or fifteen minutes going to make some sort of difference in your plans? Elbow is like that. She’s like a magpie who cannot resist the flash of something shiny no matter what she is doing. Our walks are broken into bits and each parts is where she has stopped to look at something, or a place where she stopped to reveal some inner thought, philosophy at a stand still, for who can have an epiphany and amble at the same time? Elbow really isn’t interested in being hurried, and she isn’t interested in cutting to the chase. She’ll tell me some tale about something that happened and give me the back story on it back when the Titanic was still a rowboat, and I’ll mention this to her, that this much detail isn’t necessary and she’ll tell me, “But this is the way I am going to tell it.” And it is.
But we were both tired Wednesday, and decided the walk would be shorter and the conversation a little truncated, not that any conversation she and I have ever really has been, and she is one of the few people on earth who will correct my English, and I like that about her. But as we moseyed up to the house, Mina was missing and that set of the Horse Drama, for Diamond, who is Mina’s mother, allowed herself to be put into the paddock, but ran around and whinnied and that set of Dog Drama as Elbow’s dogs chased after Diamond and barked as if their heads would come off.
Elbow is into Fowl Drama and something has been killing her chickens, and as she pulling up in her car, talking about the chickens, telling me we have to go look for Mina, and the dogs are barking, I notice she has a flat tire.
“You have a flat tire” I say.
“Are you sure?” Elbow asks, and I know her well enough not be insulted. Anyone who has ever been through a messy divorce, or even so much as a messy marriage, has a tendency towards mistrust when it comes to drama and the opposite gender. Horse Drama is put on hold while Tire Drama unfolds, and Elbow assure me if we put air in the tire all will be well.
“He’s dead, Jim”
Well, I knew that, because tires don’t die that flat if they just need a little air, but I’m a guy and I know guy things. One of the guy things I know is somewhere in the back of the car is where the spare is hidden, and lo! It is. Elbow coaches me through the change because she doesn’t totally trust someone who is generally ambisinister. I understand this. The woman has seen me with tools and it has never been pretty.
But I can change a tire, and we do get everything rolling again, and Mina decides to come home on her own, but not to go into the paddock so we have to bribe her with food. This does work, and suddenly the Horse Drama is dead and the Tire Drama is over and the dogs are at peace with the world again.
I didn’t get to write what I wanted to write yesterday and today isn’t looking too good either.
Someone on a writing site emailed me and asked me if I really write every damn day of my life, or did I just write a lot at one time and then posted it day by day, or if I stole things from people and pretended to write a lot, and what the hell was up with me posting so much because who in the hell had time to read all of that? I told them to sexual intercourse and cut the lights out on their way out, and then wondered just how much I have been writing lately and it was…wait for it, March 4th of 2010 the last day I didn’t post something that was at least 1000 words long.