The writer’s spouse’s life
Seems like a writer’s life is always, always sidetracked by writerly imaginings.
There I was at a little mom-and-pop restaurant with my hubby, enjoying a Sunday morning omelet. But oh, no, I couldn’t just engage in a normal conversation with my long-suffering spouse. I had to spy on the folks at a nearby table.
There were five of them, three men and two women. All senior citizens. I kept trying to discern who went with whom. I never did figure it out, but they were obviously the kind of friends who can steal food from each other’s plates, tease each other, and laugh about anything and everything.
I kept wondering which one of the men was missing his wife. In my mind, I painted a scenario of a lonely widower who still goes out for breakfast with his friends whose couplehood has survived intact. Then I amended that to adjust for the idea that it’s entirely possible that the odd man out didn’t have a wife at the table because he’d divorced her. Maybe none of them were married to each other. They sure were lively, though, and any one of them would have made a great supporting character for a novel.
Fast-forward to another day. A day at a beach in Florida that caters to para-sailing. We watched for a few minutes as tanned, muscular young men conquered wind and surf, swooping all over the water.
But now there’s a tanned, muscular, gray-haired lady straightening out the lines of her parasail. Getting ready to join the brawny young whippersnappers. She’s probably eighty, but she’s parasailing, and it’s obvious that she’s done it before. She means business. (Good grief, why didn’t my grandma look like that at eighty?! And why won’t I?)
Here’s where the writing thing kicks in. Instead of simply enjoying the spectacle, I’m thinking: “Wouldn’t a parasailing granny make a great character for that new story idea? She could ride a Harley, too. Shoot, she could ride bulls. She could do just about anything, and she’d be a great ally for the heroine who’s all tangled up in that ugly mess. I wonder if Granny ever gave her father what-for. I’ll have to ask her . . . . ”
My poor husband. He puts up with a lot, including the way I zone out of ordinary conversations and start interrogating my imaginary friends. While I live the writer’s life, he lives the writer’s spouse’s life. And he never complains.
Bless him, Lord. Bless him.
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