Ask me to sit down and write you a 5,000 word spill on the history of the lava lamp? No problem.
Request a 250 word snippet on Watergate? Well, you best be paying me in vodka. ibuprofen and apple sauce, cause I transform into the blubbering idiot brother of Mr. Hyde. Really, I can write a thousand words in the time it takes me to figure out how to personalize a Hallmark card (They’re the worst).
Then my girlfriend asked me to help write a letter of recommendation for her sister, after which I stand corrected on the most complicated writing task I know of: Writing something for someone I know, without sounding like a pom pom deep fried in corn oil. That, my friends . . is tougher than an Old Country Buffet steak.
“You gotta help me write this up for Elle before I leave for Miami,” She says.
She’s leaving in the morning. No, umm, pressure. She hands me a sheet of notebook paper with a quote from Keats –What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth. This, and a few lines of resume.
“What’s with the Keats quote?” I ask.
“It helps to center me when I have to write something, I jot down quotes.”
“Babe? It ain’t helping . . .”
“I know. I’m completely stuck. Fuck! I wish I was writing this for someone I hate.”
She’s right, of course. Enmity is the perfect antidote for writers block.
I move some jazz selections into business as she collects a bottle of red, after which we begin our serve and volley on this letter- She scribbling madly in her notebook while I bang away at my keyboard. We’re sputtering along before her editorial consent starts to get a little overbearing for my early rounds of blankness. I finally must ask her to tend to her side of the fence and just let me go off the leash. My document becomes a mish mash of sentences, thoughts and ideas with no real beginning or end in sight. But. . . it’s there. The literary cobbler in me is feeling way better on things as I inspect the tangled mess.
“We need more wine.” She says.
“That . . . is a brilliant fucking idea.” I say.
We toast our flagging enterprise before returning to the task. Our stops become starts and our sputters become spills. I introduce the right word to her scribble and she gives me the right thought for my scramble and we primp and curl the words into cohesion. It takes some time, but so did Rome . . and the Grand Canyon . . and Blake Lively’s hair.
Girlfriend sends it off to her sister as Take Five from the Dave Brubeck Four goes melodious bang on the silence of kiss. It’s really cool timing since me and the girl are ready to chill some more, after having tucked the cranky words into bed for the evening.
Maybe it was just the wine thinking handsomely. So the hell what?
And go Heat, baby. Go.