...a whirl of fantasy

My aunt’s question was innocent, “So, when are you going to write a book?

It was New Year’s Eve and she and I were standing body to body in a festive crush of family. This is the day that is officially recognized as National Delusion (Resolution) Day, so I’m not totally responsible for my flippant answer, “Oh, I have one started."

Heads swiveled as forks halted midway from plate to mouth, or mouth to plate, and all eyes looked center stage.

In the lull, I heard repeated, “…writing a book, she’s writing a book.” Suddenly there I was, caught with no way to back out and no way to blame the children or the husband. This was bigger than baby or wedding announcements! It was exciting. It was crazy!

And it would best be ignored.

The memories of our youth seeped back into my siblings’ brains and they remembered that it was me talking—me, the master storyteller—the drama diva, and their collective attention flowed back to the buffet table.

Shocked by the full weight of what my mouth had just blurted out, I stumbled backward and dropped into an overstuffed chair that squirmed with children—while I waited for the familiar surge of regret.

Food and family are always a deadly combination for me, but over the years I thought I had mastered the technique of speaking fluently around my speech impediment—one foot firmly inserted.

I mumbled a clarification, “I have some stuff written, already,” and then a half-hearted retraction, “I’ve just been too busy to put it together,” but it was too late. I had been replaced as the court jester by two-year old cousins who, perched together on a stool, were elbow deep in the dessert.

I have tried for years to assure the family that random blood testing is unnecessary—that my ebullient enthusiasm is not artificially induced. I only wish I could blame artificial stimulants for this last lapse of propriety and good sense.

I had the eerie feeling from the moment the words left my mouth that I had pitched headlong into a mid-life puddle of something that would be so much messier than a sportier car or a younger spouse. The light-hearted swirl of verbal recklessness hit the surface of the stagnant pond that was my life and demonstrated how loose lips can sink ships.

Back at the New Year’s party, my brain returned to my twirling body sitting askew amid tickling children. I feigned an outward calm, but another unhealthy personality trait surfaced and made me decide, “That’s it! I’ve said it and I’m doing it! I am writing a book!”

Reality Bite: Stubbornness is motivation. It should be a virtue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great penmanship - i like your writing