Determined to write something this morning, I locked my $49 executive chair into the full upright Mavis Beacon posture, scooted up to the keyboard where my index fingers were poised over the home keys, donned one of my 3 for $6.00 computer glasses, and typed this sentence.
“That’s it, champ! The goal is to write! write! write!”
There she was, perched on my K-Mart banker’s lamp, wearing black sweats instead of the usual hideous fuchsia pink rayon blouse and brown plaid pencil skirt. She had a sponge in one hand, and a small metal bucket at her feet, looking a lot like Angelo Dundee[i], the famous boxing trainer and cornerman.
“I think Angelo was better looking. What brings you around?” I asked.
Throwing a left jab/ right block in the air, she replied “I’ve always been in your corner, champ. But you’ve taken one too many dings to the head and can see any more.”
“I hate boxing metaphors. I sucked at boxing anyway. I was a street fighter.”
“Yeah, and you sucked at that too!” She crowed.
“I did lose a lot” I answered ruefully, “but they all knew that I would fight, and fight viciously. They let me be after one go-round.”
“Well, you’re writing a little now. That’s good. And I see you are shuffling Akashaic around.” She said, changing the subject.
“I was looking for anything that was salvageable in it. I think some of the characters may remain, but the storyline has to be discarded.”
“That’s too bad.” She cooed.
I went on, brushing aside her mocking sympathy. “No, it was really too much of an epic. I just wanted to tell a short tale, not write a Wagnerian opera. The tale just got away from me. And the dyslexia has gotten so bad on some days that I just hate rereading anything I wrote.”
“You still have that knack for surprise endings. Why not work on that?”
“Surprise endings are a gimmick, usually. I would rather have fairy tale endings where everything is wrapped up. At heart, I am a moralist.”
“An amoral moralist. Now that is interesting!”
Again that tone. I think I was mocked again. “Aw shaddup. But yeah, you are right that I am more amoral than most believe. Most think I am a bit on the priggish side when in fact I don’t think that anyone lives up to a very high standard. I am not a big fan of mankind.”
“Then why are your hero’s so ‘pure’?” She asked.
“Good question. Perhaps I want to believe that one can have pure morals. I dunno. To me, a narcissist is worse than a pedophile. So my hero’s tend to be selfless, and my villains tend to be self-centered.”
“Well, write about them, champ!” she said, blocking with the right and feinting with the left.
“I just can’t seem to get going on it. The dyslexia is stealing most of the joy of writing. I reread some of my old posts and I am aghast at the errors. I just can’t see them when I write them, no matter how often reread the passage.”
“Well, just write it and go on. It isn’t like you are going to publish any time soon.”
“People keep telling me that, but when a sentence or a phrase just doesn’t read right to me, it drives me crazy and I can’t go on until it is right. If I go back, then I focus on the sentence, and then the paragraph goes out of whack. So I focus on the paragraph, and find it doesn’t fit the theme. I don’t know how to stop doing that.”
“That’s my job.”
“Not in that get-up.” I shot back.
“That from a man who writes in his underwear? Please spare me!” she said, dancing around with her hand clasped over her head like a winning champ.
[i] Angelo Dundee was an American boxing trainer and cornerman. Best known for his work with Muhammad Ali, he also worked with 15 other world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, George Scott, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Manuel Rodríguez and Willie Pastrano. Wikipedia