Friday, May 3, 2013
Suddenly I see. I see myself like the woman on a movie screen writing by candle light with a pen that she dips in ink. So I jump. I jump and go to a shop that has nibs, handles and ink pots. I return home, sit upright, place nib in handle, dip. And get nothing but the sound of scratch on paper. Dip again. I wait a few more days. Dip again. Scratches. Scratches and a few scribbles. So I leap. I leap up and go back to the shop and explain to the clerk what I see coming from my hand. Okay, yes, yes, more nibs. G nibs, flex nibs. I reverse to home and good posture. Nib, dip, ink, paper. More scratches and scribble. So I fly. I fly to another shop with more pens. A clerk suggests a fountain pen with a pointed nib. This fills with the ink color of my choice. Fine place to start, she says. Go slow, she says. Jane Austen, she says, had a lot of free time. You, she says, will not write a novel with a dip pen. Well, I reply, I have no plans for a novel. I desire only to script a handful of post cards or diary entries. I desire an antidote to the tap-tap-tap-tap on my keyboard. So I buy. I buy, fill. And I clog. I clog the pen with black ink made for dipping. So I put down the pen and delay. I delay for days before returning to any shop where old-school, fancy-pen art people advise. Then, another movie and another woman dipping and writing. So I walk. I walk to the shop counter where a clerk takes my pen to wash, rinse, wash. We watch together as she moves the pen across a note pad for minutes, many minutes, waiting for flow to return. I feel my heart beat in my ears when finally we see pale blue and then dark indigo running from the nib. So I order. I order a second fountain pen, one with a broad-edge nib. The pen arrives a few weeks later. Now I use the right ink. And I write. I write letters, words, sentences. The slowness satisfies like touching silk. I skip. I skip because I'm feeling love for a pen. I pick up the closed ink pot. And I fumble. I fumble the pot through thumb and fingers. It lands on the floor, lid down, and cracks. Beaver brown fluid spreads across the wooden floor under my feet. I run. I run for paper towels.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
They want us to dance. A request comes through loud speakers. "Come on everyone. It will keep you warm." Everyone equals the ski race spectators like me standing outside in six degrees Fahrenheit. Someone pushes play on a new song. Yeah, okay, groove, uh huh, why not? I raise my arms in the shape of Y then M then C and A. "The top three dancers win a pint glass." Oh yeah? With only myself to embarrass, I add original foot and hand combinations. My parka and pac boots adjust to my inspired improvisation. I pump up the choreography more and then hear a voice yelling. "Hey, hey." Is someone calling me? Yes! Across the course stands a woman trying to get my attention. "Catch this!" She throws a small white box across the race course's final stretch (no skiers flying by at the present moment). The box lands at my feet."Check inside. Did it break?" I open it and see a glass solid and ready for beverage, ready for someone like me. Not a racer, but for sure a winner.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Once upon a time in a golden land near a salted sea there lived a rifle named Gun. Gun spent life mostly at the back of Mother's large clothes closet in a two-story wooden house Father built. One night, Mother became very very very mad at Father. What did Father do to make Mother so so so angry? Did he drop a special bowl? Terribly naughty, he must have been, for Mother to grab Gun from the closet, point it at Father, and chase him out the front door of the house that Father built. Father, being wise (most of the time except when he was bad and in trouble with Mother), ran as fast as he could and hid inside his big work truck. Father, being wise, kept his head down. Mother stood on the front door step waving Gun to the left and right while yelling at Father. This was fun and exciting for Gun who lived, most often, a cozy and contented life, but one confined in a cushioned case. Time passed. Mother stopped yelling and went inside. Father, being wise, stayed hidden in his big truck. Gun enjoyed the fresh air.