Three of my writer friends and I meet each week to practice crafting stories. Sometimes I post the results on my blog. This is one of those times.
He’s always bloviated.
It’s a delicate dance.
There was going to be ice.
I should never have sat on this bed with its mattress that conforms to my body and the pillows that cradle any body part I desire to have held. I should have sat at the dining table on a chair that would have required me to remain upright, prevented me from becoming too comfortable. The desire to tuck myself in does not facilitate producing words worth reading – or at least it is a delicate dance, to balance coziness with creativity, especially at the end of the workday when my eyes glaze and my knees ache and my brain is like, wha?
And now the cat yowls upstairs as if offended, hollering about this or that. He sleeps all day long, sprawls in his heated bed as if melted, snoring while I yammer on about whatever agenda item on whatever topic on whatever Zoom the hour has called for me to attend. Once the sun sets, however, he’s always bloviating, mewling at length as if he’s been forgotten, needs unmet, the backs of his orange ears unscritched. None of his complaints are true.
Did I turn his nightlight on? Why didn’t I buy one of those nightlights that senses dark, illuminating when needed, standing by when not? The cat needs a nightlight, I decided a while back, because he is ancient and surely doesn’t see well, especially in the dark, and a nightlight will ease his worry. A more honest sentence would say that this is what my friend believed about her old cat and I decided to believe her and apply it to my own. Anyway, he’s stopped yowling now, curtailed his wailing – cur-tail-ed, what a funny word to use in a sentence with a cat, a cur being a mangy ill-behaved dog and tail, well, obviously. What if a cur were caterwauling? I wonder. Where was I going with this? The cat has stopped and now all I can hear is the crackling of the fire, which means the scraps of wood I laid on top of the glowing coals have caught and we shall have warmth tonight.
We’ll need it. The weather service predicts a low of 32 degrees, not the hard freeze of the past couple nights, “a hard freeze,” a phrase that, after seeing it a dozen times, brought images of a hot-bodied Jack Frost being featured in some kind of winter porn, accessible by clicking on the National Weather Service advisory maybe. But no, all the NWS meant was, there was going to be ice. I didn’t need to cover the citrus trees because I don’t have any and the bulbs and last summer’s kale look to be doing fine, which reminds me I don’t know why those small flowers that look like daffodils aren’t daffodils, but narcissus – narcissuses? – I will look this up.
Here is what I learned: “All daffodils are members of the genus Narcissus. Daffodils are the common names people use for garden forms of this genus. In other words, daffodil is the official common name for ANY of the plants that fall into the genus Narcissus. So, if the plant is considered a Narcissus, it also is considered a daffodil as well.”
This writing has not been fiction as it was meant to be. Every word recounts my life as is, not even altered for dramatic effect. In other words, I’ve been a person displaying an excessive interest in myself, like Narcissus, for whom the flower is named. Here is a thing: although a daffodil is a narcissus, a daffodil represents rebirth and new beginnings, which makes me think I should stop being a narcissus and try instead to be a daffodil and start this story over.