“So, you’re just going to look the other way and walk past me? Again?”

Ignore her. She’s not real. It’s the anesthesia.

“Hello! It’s not the anesthesia. I’m here, right where you put me, next to your dusty laptop. You know, on your so called ‘writing desk’?”

The doctor said it might affect my judgment for a while after the surgery. Mine was a complicated procedure. He said so himself.

I tried not to glance at the small white container of glue.

“Like, you know I’m here, dude. Remember the last writer’s meeting? You literally begged to take me home. And what have you done with me? Nothing. A girl gets lonely, you know. And you know you knocked me over the other day when you were looking for something. Would you pa-lease at least set me up right? It is so hard for me to do that without arms!”

In spite of the implied admission of insanity, I complied.

“Now would you turn me around to face you? I hate talking with someone when I can’t see them.”

“I don’t believe this.”

“Did you say something hon?”

I spun around toward my open office door. I hadn’t realized my wife was within earshot. The den was better than fifty feet away. “No, sweetie. Just reminding myself of something.”

“Okay, let me know if I can get you anything?”

“I’m good, thank you.”

I’m still sane, right?

I measured enough force to render the door nearly closed. I cautiously moved toward the glue bottle and whispered. “What do you want?”

“Duh, I think you know.”

“Okay, okay. I know what you want. But when I agreed to take you home, I had no idea things were going to go so far south so quickly.”

“Wah, wah. Let me guess. Your surgery?”

“Yeah, my surgery. You have four vertebrae fused and get a chest full of plates and screws until it swells you up like a rooster and see if you feel like writing.”

“First of all, I could use a little swelling in the chest area. You might notice, I’m, like, pretty flat. And second, I don’t have any vertebrae, so it wouldn’t help with the plates and screws–well at least not with the plates. Might not be so bad to have a good un-screw every once in a while. But you have to make the first move, big guy. Hint, hint.”

“Ha ha, very funny. If you’re so full clever, how come you aren’t writing?”

I could have sworn her shoulders hunched.

“Sorry, that wasn’t very nice. I apologize.” My pulse quickened. I was now officially certifiable, offering an apology to a bottle of glue. She ignored my slight and apology.

“So, you still didn’t tell me why you haven’t written in the last couple of weeks since your surgery. I’ll give you the first week to get through the drugs and pain. But after that, you went back to work. It just seems to me if you can work, you can write.”

“Well, it’s complicated.”

“I don’t buy that, dude.”

“You forget. After I got off the pain meds, I started having other complications. The fever. The stomach issues. The swallowing issue. I still can’t eat solid foods, over two weeks gone. The UTI, just to name a few.”

“Oh, well, excuse me. I didn’t realize you wrote with your colon and your wanger.”

“That’s not fair. You don’t have those things so how could you possible know—?”

“Look, I just want to do my job. For you, baby. It’s not easy sitting here day after day, hoping for the touch of a warm hand, then the sound of the pitter patter of the keyboard. And I get nothing but that big cat of yours walking all over the desk, sniffing me and nudging up against everything. You have to realize I can’t do my job if you don’t do yours. There’s nothing more appealing to me than attaching myself to that tush of yours. But I can’t do that if you never sit in the chair and if you keep avoiding me like the plague.”

I was silent. She had me there. I had gone through a plethora of excuses, when in fact, it just seemed more appealing to me to sit around and watch TV, feeling sorry for myself. True, I had started my new story, but hadn’t been able to convince myself to hit a lick at a snake in over two weeks. And this was truly unlike me–Mr. Knock Out 20,000 Words in a Day.

“So what are you waiting for?”

“I have to go take my muscle relaxer.”

“I’ll wait. I’m a very patient lady.”

I returned with ice cold Gatorade and cracked my knuckles. “Okay, I think I’m ready.”

“Then take me, you fool. I’ve been waiting so long . . .”

I took her gently into my hand. My fingers meandered to her cap.

“Ummm, your hands are warm. And I’m loving where you’re squeezing me. A little lower, please. Maybe you could write about this?”

“Maybe.”

Maybe not.

“I heard that.”

“Sorry.”

After applying her warmth, I sat in my writing chair and opened my PYM. Soon the keyboard began to click-clack.

“Music to my ears. And oh my, you feel good, baby.”

She made a little squeaky noise, like air passing out her cap.

“So do you, but be quiet, so I can get to work.”

“My lips are sealed. And so is my top. Go for it, baby.”

And I did.

 

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