Saturday, June 25, 2016

Being a Writer is Not for Sissies

At her 4th book signing in two years I gushed to the author “I can’t believe how prolific you are!” There was zero comprehension in her face. She said simply “That’s what I do.” I begin to tell her that I too, am a writer, an author, but so many days go by that I just don’t get the urge. Then, her face said, “Move along” so I did.

Off the line I read her inscription “Carol, hope you enjoy this book” and I knew that night I would read the first fifteen pages, put it down and click on demand TV. Or I might play video poker on my phone, fall asleep and dream about getting four of a kind.

Interviewers ask, “What books are currently on your nightstand? Now I can name her title along with the others I haven’t read. Which is my favorite? That’s easy – the one I use as a coaster for my wine glass.

After I left the signing my schedule was wide open so I did what I do most days to avoid writing. I shopped. I convinced myself that it was going to rain so I bought an umbrella since I was three blocks from my apartment and God forbid my hair gets wet – although I straighten it and have it professionally blow dried twice a week.

My husband left me well heeled. Damn him! Didn’t he know I would nap the day away, then sleepily eat take out while watching terrible news clips of people much less fortunate than me but with way more spunk?

“Yup, we lost our home” the couple clinging to each other croak. “But we have each other, Charlie, our pet pig and the man up above.” Their heads, as though choreographed tilt up together and just as they began a small salute to I’m guessing God, a branch from a charred tree cracks, sways and lands inches from Charlie.

“We’ll be just fine,” they say. The horrified reporter, forgetting her microphone is on backs away from them, blurts out ‘jinx’ and the screen switches to the anchor.  

I watch and wonder if it’s worth it to get up from the couch to heat up this last slice of pizza.

Note: Title adapted from Bette Davis quote: “Old Age is No Place for Sissies” which, of course, is also true.

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