Writing During The Holidays

Multitasking abandoned

My laptop sits on the kitchen counter as I cook. Right hand stirring the dumpling mixture, my left hand’s floury fingers type (not skillfully), Have you a mind to sink, the woman weeps to those gathered in the room, to no one. The sound of something shattering out on the patio. “Oh, Man,” groans my Mother-In-Law as my son squeal-giggles. All three dogs are barking.

Dressed in my Christmas blouse, which is really a summer blouse because the Santa Anas have ravaged this valley for 3 days, stewing us in heat, forcing us to pull out the boring shorts and flipflops at Christmas, I sit on my bed with my laptop, pretending I can’t hear the many beloveds arriving for dinner. I should have left her alone, he muttered, searching the channel for the rowboat. She’s killing me. “Mama! Wook!” My son bursts into the bedroom wielding a candy cane, which is like giving Crank to a kitten. “Where are the mutilated poems, Polly asks,” I whisper, chasing after my son and vowing to remember this line if I’m ever alone with my laptop again.

Just as I collapse on the couch for the first time in many madcap centuries and haul my laptop to my pajamas-covered legs, my eye is caught by my husband staggering for the bathroom, hand over his mouth. I write: baffled as to why the albino twins rile her, and set the computer aside, providing hand towels, encouraging whispers and plumped pillows, my son and I playing with the Bat Cave toy for the next 22 years.

Far beneath the dining room tile, she senses a rumble.

My son orders me to look at his plate. “I ate all my bweakfast!” Widening my eyes and uttering exclamations of (genuine) appreciation, I finish writing: Just how many roadside tacos did he eat? Ella wonders, her stomach churning when she imagines Love or even Front Row Red socking Frankie in the face. “No, Mama–you’re not wooking!”

I am in the guestroom bed. Behind me are miles of fun with my child and whatever I could give my suffering spouse to ease his agony. In attempt to keep one of us healthy, my illness-plagued husband and I sleep in separate beds tonight. I relish the Christmas revelings of late, this sweet family life I am so grateful for, but at last: some time to write. When she turns to him, the passenger seat holds only her bags of clothes, her potted plants…

When she turns to him…spin the sky…when she turns…whale’s spout…when she turns…O enormous yawn! You are not welcome here. O moon, O moan…

Why don’t the f***ing books f***ing write themselves…

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About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, activist, fortunate.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Pets, To Explain, Writer's Angst, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Words do not escape you

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