My favorite way to write is slowly, physically slowly.
I prefer a Number Two pencil and a blank sheet of white artist’s paper.
Like a canvas.
I’ve been known to use a yellow legal pad and a red pen,
but, truth be told, writing feels better when it is moving.
I like to chisel the words onto the space.
When I was on the cusp of fifty years,
I moved in with my gravelly ill mother and father –
they didn’t have long - who then lived in Venice, Florida.
On the gulf.
Not far from the beach.
They were on their last legs, like my Grandpa used to say.
We all had our own bedroom, mine the smallest.
Must admit the rent was good. – JDW
Another blank sheet of white paper invites me in, like a field of new snow beckons a small child.
My pencil makes footprints on the blank page and your face comes alive, drawn by tiny pink rubber boots.
Don’t know where this is headed.
The big dog is pretending to be asleep, but he’s got one eye on the guy mowing my lawn.
Major has his dark side.
Sometimes he likes to pretend he is Wuffy The Vampire Wolf.
Bares huge white fangs, bristles his hair, puffing up half again -
don’t you love it when you start to feel like you are having a heart attack and it turns out just to be gas? -
his normal size, and let’s out this loud lowww growl, sounds like a wounded grizzly bear in a bad mood.
Major and I…we room together.
Jesus Savez – that’s my lawn man, Honduran – is riding a Dixie Chopper.
And Jesus Savez is doing maybe 45 MPH around my backyard.
I watch all this and I watch the dog watch all this.
I watch all this from the hot tub and fantasize about Jesus Savez losing control of the Dixie Chopper,
now with a big block Chevy engine, skidding on a large heap of vampire wolf crap,
crashing into the oh-so-spiky bougainvillea.
* * *
I love the heft of a fresh pencil in the morning.
Sitting on the lanai, naked.
The Chocolate Lab swimming my laps while I drink home-made Mocha Lattes.
Some days I feel like an aging homo
(Not that there is anything wrong with that. Not that I know what that feels like. – ed.)
as I soak in the hot tub and read the New York Times.
Listening to bootleg tapes of Eddie Vedder.
Wettest winter, formerly known as The Dry Season, in recorded history,
closely followed by the hottest June in 108 years.
What is that in dog years?
Driest summer, a.k.a The Rainy Season, ever.
Drought. Forest fires. Hurricane season due before you know it.
Can see where this is headed.
Today, first day of summer, the TV weather girl, blonde and a tad too perky, says,
‘Our temperature won’t reach 90 degrees in as long as she can remember.’
She corrects herself…it’s been three weeks.
Only in hell is 89 degrees considered a cooling trend.
As a young man, I reasonably worried
about spending time in the prison. The joint. Slammer. Jail.
The Big House.
Days of endless repetition, hard labor, institutional food.
Nights spent in a small cell
shared by a large dark animal.
I am too cute to be in general population.
Prison…imagined it much like my life now.