So, My Writing Mojo has been MIA for a couple months now. I came just short of putting out an APB when she flounced in unceremoniously this morning, dropped her bag on the floor, flopped on the couch with her feet up on one arm, and turned on the TV.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said the only thing I could think of. “Where the hell have you been, young lady?! I’ve been worried sick! You could have been dead in a ditch somewhere! What, they don’t have phones where you were?!” I spun my mental Rolodex and searched my memory for other similar admonishments my own mother had used on me. “You are SO grounded, missy!”
She smiled smugly in a way that made me want to punch her in the throat a little bit. “Yeahyeah, suresure. Whatever.”
“No, there’s NO whatever. You just disappeared without a trace and not so much as a warning shot for a couple damn months. AND you missed our bloggy birfday yesterday! I demand an explanation! Hell, our readers reader deserves an explanation! They’ve been putting up with only Wordless Wednesday and Tell Me Thursday posts, which are all well and good, but all alone they spell LAME, sister!” I fumed.
She didn’t bother glancing away from The View. “I wouldn’t figure you’re in any position to be demanding anything.” she huffed. “Do you have any Cheetos?”
“No, I don’t have any– Dammit– if I get you some Cheetos, will you fill me in?” I pointed and shot red laser beams out my eyeballs at her.
She gave me her best color-me-unimpressed expression and said, “Throw in a Mountain Dew and a pack of smokes, and you got a deal.” She directed her attention back to Whoopi and Elizabeth who were currently in a heated debate about saving beavers in the rainforests.
I threw my hands up in the air. “Oh, for the… I’ll be right back, you extortionist.” I was secretly pretty proud of her chutzpah; she had something I needed, and she didn’t let that go without making use of it.
As I drove down to the convenience store, my mind whirled. Where had she been? What had she been doing? Images of dirty carnivals and cold Taco Bell and jails danced in my head.
I came back in the house and tossed her first, the Cheetos and second, the smokes. She caught one with her left and one with her right, barely glancing my way.
“Oh, unclench. Where’s my pop?”
“In the freezer. Spill it, sister.”
“Let’s go smoke.”
Twist my arm. I turned on my heel and walked out of the room.
On the way out to the deck, I snatched her pop out of the fridge and grabbed myself a Bud Light. At that point, I was so flustered, it was not a want; it was a need. I paused, thought better of it, and exchanged the Mountain Dew for another beer. Perhaps it would grease the wheels a little. We settled into lawn chairs, not looking at each other, but rather across the backyard and into the timber beyond. I handed her the beer and got a slightly surprised look in return. The expression left as fast as it came, and she directed her gaze back out into nowhere as she packed her smokes on her thigh before she opened them. I cracked my can open and took that best, first pull. She made the sign for “lighter” without looking at me and I lit her up. She took a long, hungry drag and picked at her fingernails.
I said, “I really could’ve used you all those hours I was on third shift instead of sitting there with my thumb up the internet.”
Almost apologetically she said, “Yeah, I figured. I felt kind of bad about that.”
I used one of my therapist’s favorite techniques and remained silent, not breaking the silence for her. Suck it, chivalry.
She risked a glance my way. “Yeah, January was great. We got a lot done, didn’t we?”
I didn’t answer, just took another pull on my beer and studiously avoided looking at her.
“February was bad. Teh Crazie scared me,” she remarked quietly, looking down at nothing.
I nodded slowly. “Me, too. I suppose I probably didn’t handle it as well as I thought I did. But I thought we had it under some semblance of control.”
“Well, then we were pondering The Girlbeater and I got really spooked.”
“That’s understandable,” I allowed. “But we have some important work to do. It won’t be easy.”
“I guess I knew that deep down. I suppose it’s what made me realize I needed to come back home.” She looked at me timidly, needing a pardon.
“Well, I’m glad you did. I kind of missed you, you crazy bitch,” I chuckled a little.
“Yeahyeah, suresure,” she shot me a mischievous grin.
“Are you ready to get back to it?” I wondered.
“Yeah, I suppose. I’ve got some great stories for you.”
“I bet! Gimme a taste, girl!” I sat back in the chair and put my feet up on the little end table between us, immensely glad to see her and thankful she found her way home.
“You asked for it!” She put her feet up on the other corner of the end table and held out her beer can. I gave it a clunk with mine, and extended my closed hand to invite a fist bump. She smirked and bumped. “So, there I was, in a dirty bus station in Utah, a used spark plug in one hand, a Red Bull in the other, and a drunk slumped onto my shoulder and mumbling about being on a porn set with Martha Stewart, some midget clowns and a Zamboni…” she began.
I settled in with the first of many, many beers and cigarettes, and some really fantastic stories. A couple hours in, some Chinese delivery was added to the equation.
It’s so good to have her back.