AA FOR WRITERS

Write Right Into The Night
Copyright 2006 by T.J. Flynn

Today I want to write right,
write right into the night.

Pretty words I see on a page,
of loving parsonage.

My string of words may be for sale,
tell, says I, the tale.

Make it up and let it out,
word-pictures that shout.

Who’ll buy these words from me,
who’ll care to see?

My minds exercises revealed,
my eccentricities.

There should be an organization, like AA for alcoholics, that helps people who keep getting into trouble with the words that they write. I need the twelve-step program. Two of my ex-wives would happily coordinate an intervention to force me into the program. I’ve been getting in trouble, since the 3rd grade, for writing. Not graffitti. Not foul words. I’ve been getting into trouble for writing what was on my mind.

My sister warned me, just yesterday, that the FBI might visit me for what I wrote a about Little Johnny the boxing Brevard County Judge. I’m a little scared, but not enough to take down the post. And, besides, I know Agent Hotchner, J.J., Penelope, Rossi, Reid and Morgan of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico from Criminal Minds.

If there is a time of day when magic happens easily, I suspect that it’s after you wake up but before you get up. I know, from personal experience, that strange things happen during these times. I seriously think that I’ve gotten up, gone to the bathroom, got back in bed and continued a dream that I was having before…more than once. Yep, more than once! When I was a working man, I had to keep these time periods short. These days, I enjoy not having that limitation. So long as Mom’s newspaper has been brought inside, I’m free to manipulate dreams, plan the day, meditate, or whatever my whim fancies. (Or should it be whatever my whims fancy?)

For those of you that are too curious to move past it without an explanation, Mom likes to read her newspaper in the morning and she (at almost 93) is not adept at going out the front door and retrieving it these days. That, then, becomes my first morning chore.

Today, during the magic moments, my mind settled on how potential pacifist partners might react to yesterday’s post. I sent one here, to read my Blog, yesterday and am now wondering if that was just another in a life-long string of dumb things to write. My mind raced. I started to sweat. I could feel my face warm up and redden. I thought about throwing up. I thought about a thousand other things. And then, I calmed myself with the thought that three-score and five years ago my parents brought forth on this continent a new child, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…to write what’s on their mind. (This italicized reference to President Lincoln might make sense after a few more paragraphs.)

Those thousand and something thoughts that I had boil down to two.
1. What’s the worst thing that could happen if SHE reads my post and hates it?
2. What’s the best thing that can happen if SHE reads my post and loves it?
My conscious mind knows that her response will be somewhere in the gray area between these two extremes. But considering worst-case and best-case scenarios is a great tool.

I might have accidentally written something good and smart and useful! Time will tell. Patience is not bountiful in my family, however, and I, personally, have the minimum amount allowed by the Subtle Essence Of The Universe, to be carried by a live human and still function in society. So, I will keep harking back to 1 and 2 above. (“Harking back”, I just wrote that and it looks and sounds silly. I have no idea where that comes from. See what I mean about getting into trouble writing stuff?)

You probably can’t hear me, but I’m laughing because I know what my audience is doing right this second. My regular readers are beginning to scratch unmentionables and fidget in their seats. I’m losing their attention to birds and random thoughts. They’re expecting the real meat of this post. They want the low-down, the skinny, the scoop, the 411 on the kinds of things that have persistently gotten me up to my ass in alligators when I didn’t need to even be in the water.

-The earliest thing that I remember writing was a love note to Johnnie Sue Mackabee. That was 1st or 2nd grade. That note was well received and caused no problems. She loved me too and wanted to spend the rest of her life as my girlfriend, with milk-n-cookie playdates and everything. That may have been the one thing that I wrote in the early years that positively motivated me to keep writing. But, then again, she moved to the other side of town in the middle of the school year and broke my heart.
-A couple of years later, on the chalk board in Sunday School, I wrote “Whitt is a shit”. I was referring to the teacher, Whitt Cornell, who was a lot smarter than I gave him credit for. He had every boy in the class write his name on the board. I was the only one that crossed both “t”s with one line, and was summarily busted. Daddy must have thought that Whitt was a shit too, because he did not spank me…until Mama made him do it.
-A couple of years later…5th grade…Mrs Emory was the teacher…I got caught passing a silly note to Susan Browning, the class hottie. Mrs Emory knew me well because she taught 4th grade the year that I was in the 4th grade and 5th grade the year I was in the 5th grade. Somehow I felt slighted that I had to have the same teacher 2 years in a row, and I remember her vividly as the high school gym teacher type. She made me write something on the chalk board a hundred times for that note to Susan. She also forced me into learning the Gettysburg Address and reciting it on stage at a school thing. The joke was on her for that, though. She made Susan recite with me! Later, in high school, Susan was really a hottie. I remember her as being somewhat matronly at the 20 year reunion, however. Damn, I’ll probably get into trouble for writing that, too.
-7th grade…double-session at a school out of our district while our new school was being built…we had sock-hop dancing every day at lunch. I gave a random girl a note asking her to dance. She gave the note to her boyfriend. He was not amused and since we were in the same gym class, and the gym teacher made us resolve issues wearing oversized boxing gloves, I fought for my right to write that day and must have lost, because I don’t remember winning.
-8th or maybe 9th grade…George Wilkerson took umbrage to a note that I’d written to the girl whose books we both tried to carry home from the busstop every day. He called me out in the middle of Fleming Drive, the dirt road that we lived on, in front of all the neighborhood kids, including the girl whose name I can’t remember. Now, George knew better because he had popped me with a rolled up towel in gym class one too many times and got his head stuck in a dirty toilet for his trouble. But, right in front of his house, we duked it out. I remember my dad literally lifting me up off of George’s chest, in a fashion that gave me a tremendous wedgie. And, I remember the spanking that I got for smarting off to George’s mom who had come outside in his defense. It was okay to fight in the street, but not to smart off to a grown-up.
-There were probably incidents when I was in high school and in the USMC when writing got me into trouble, but in my mind, I was smarter then and refrained from the deviant behavior.
-My 1st wife hated everything that I wrote, except the Bicentennial Essay that I wrote in college that won a prize. (Insert fart noise here. It was second prize behind an undeserving ethnic female.) I wrote a piece of erotica that may have obliquely referred to one of my wife’s friends and she had a fit that a movie could be made about. I’m not embarassed that I wrote a piece of erotica. But, with her divorce attorney and my divorce attorney being females, it was not my favorite topic of discussion. Oh, and she didn’t hate the book that I wrote which she got half the proceeds from in our divorce settlement.
-My 2nd wife was a writer and an artist. She understands the writing affliction and sickness. Bless her heart.
-The next one also hated everything that I wrote. She even hated poems that I wrote about loving her. Here’s one that I wrote in a hospital bed after surgery, you decide if it’s terrible or not:

LOVE COLORS
Copyright 9 June 2011 by T.J. Flynn

Navy blue scrubs,
Baby blue eyes.

Midnight blue car.
The bluest of skies.

(FYI: She had a blue car, blue eyes, and wore blue scrubs to work)

With all of this written out, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s women or writing that get me in the most trouble. It doesn’t really matter, because I know that I’m going to continue loving women and writing.

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