Zen, and the art of tripe …

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FrownI had just sat down at my PC to play with a new CAD program when I caught her stretched out along the top of my monitor in what I suppose was to be a provocative pose.  Too white legs stuffed like sausages into too brown nylons, and just a hint at a garter band at the hem of her frayed houndstooth skirt.

“There you are, my man!  So how does it feel to write something again?  I think that was one of my better collaborations.” She cooed and preened.

“What, that 200 word piece of  . . .“

She scowled and warned, “Watch your mouth buster!  There are ladies here!”

“ . . . fluff on Oreo cookies?  Is that what you are pleased with?  I am a bit embarrassed by it.” I continued.

With a pout she swung her legs over the edge of the monitor and sat up while tugging at the hem of her skirt.

I averted my eyes.  I am not real choosy, but there are some places I really don’t want to go. When I looked up again, she was sitting upright, all prim and proper, the last of the cottage cheese squeezing out of the tops of her nylons decently covered.

“Well, you are at least writing again.” She said levelly

“It’s tripe, and you know it.” I shot back.

“When life hands you tripe, you make menudo out of it.” she chuckled to herself.

I groaned.  This was going to be a long conversation.

“You’ve been compared to Erma Bombeck by a couple of people now.”

“Yeah.  That was a little flattering.  Erma could keep you wrapped in suspense just telling you how she puts groceries away.  But I don’t have the incentive to crank out a five hundred word column each week like she did, even when she was so sick with a wasting cancer.”

“A lot of people like your morning posts.  Maybe you just aren’t novelist material.  Crank out the mornings three to five hundred words, and post.”

“I just write those damned things because I am an inveterate writer.  I can’t stand it when people call or stop by and interrupt my playing with words.  Besides.  There is that story in my head that one part of me wants to tell, and another part of me wants to hide.  It gnaws at my entrails.  I want to talk about the pain, the sadness that envelopes me.  But the damned words just aren’t there.  I write public fluff because it doesn’t lay a glove on my psyche.  But every once in awhile a piece of that bleak tale slips out, and I quickly bury it in nonsensical verbiage.”

“So what am I now, your confessor?” She snapped. “Look.  If you want to write, I am here for you.  I’ll help you find obscure words that say precisely what you want to say.  I’ll lay out turns of phrases that will make you gasp in their sublimity.  But Sigmund Freud I am not.”

“Here I am gnawing at my own entrails and you mock me?” I surlily growled

“Gnawing my . . . “

“Watch the mouth!” I warned.

“ patootie!  That rubbish isn’t gnawing at your entrails.  That is maudlin reflection.  Back off, buster!  You’re making my blouse soggy.”

“I wouldn’t put my . . .”

“Can the personal attack, Plato.”

“ . . . face anywhere near that cheap Rayon® blouse.” I said. “So your suggestion, Doctor?”

“Write your little wake up posts in the morning.  Nothing more.  Do it slowly and deliberately.  Do it completely.  Post it on WordPress and blogster, and put your links to it on G+ and face book.  Then put a little space between that and your first morning chore.”

That sounds a bit Zenny . . . “

“It IS zen.”

“Oh.”

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