The Writing Montage

From across the room, I can't see what I'm writing. I can only see that I am writing. It's entertaining—like watching a movie about a writer.

The writing montage.

In a few cuts and by the end of a song, I'm done writing. The music fades as I get up from my desk to answer the doorbell. It's my book! My book arrives! I look happy when I hold it for the first time, then sad when I feel the weight of it in my hands. I don't open it right away. Instead, I run to my computer and write something down about the experience of finally getting it before it is forgotten. I only type three words, then I stop and sit still in the quiet, comparing the brand new unopened book to the worn out faded keys of my keyboard. The camera pans over my shoulder to the three words I had just written on the computer screen.

This is is.

The words stay still, hovering in a soft zoom, then a cursor blinks, and the words "by Mark Searcy" appears, letter by letter—typed before your eyes. Automatically the spell-check highlights the last name with a red squiggly line, and the scene cuts to the beginning of a flashback.


How To Make An Excuse Monster

1) On a blank sheet of paper, write down the first excuse that pops into your head when you ask yourself, “Why am I not writing anything?”

2) Crumple the sheet of paper into a ball and throw it into the corner of the room.

3) Grab a fresh sheet of paper and repeat the question-answer-crumple process until you run out of paper.

4) Pick out a crumpled excuse at random and flatten it back out.

5) Read the excuse back to yourself.

6) Flip the sheet of paper over and draw a pair of snake eyes.

7) Lay the eyes-side up on the top of the crumpled excuse pile, and voila, you have your very own excuse monster glaring at you from the corner of the room.


Cowboy, Next-to-me, Pineapple

People, Place, Thing: Cowboy, Next-to-me, Pineapple

Seriously? A cowboy sitting next to me? Fine. I'll go with it. I'm guessing that he's probably reading this while I am typing it. Yep. He just told me that he can read it. Then he told me to say boobs. I said it. He laughed. Then he laughed again when he read it. Boobs!

He fell out of his chair! He's rolling around on the floor! Ouch! That was my leg! Watch where you're hootin' and a hollerin' with those boots buddy! They got spurs on 'em!

He's starting to settle down. A dusty bandanna is laying next to my computer mouse. It's orange, with white patterned pineapples printed on one side. He covers it with his hand when I write about seeing it.

“Hey man! Quit looking at my bandanna!”
“Hey! Stop writing what I am saying like that!”
“I mean it!”
“Do I really sound like that?”



Sgt. Slaughter Sighting

I just saw Sgt Slaughter at Baskin Robbins! He was looking at the rainbow sherbet when I walked in. I stopped at the door, shocked by awe. He asked the cashier if he could taste the rainbow sherbet, then he tasted it! I watched Sgt. Slaughter put a little pink spoon full of rainbow sherbet in his mouth, close his eyes, and slowly slide just the spoon out through his lips. Then he moaned! Sgt Slaughter kept his eyes closed and moaned!

The cashier handed him a chocolate malt and asked if he would like anything else. Sgt. Slaughter said no. He took out his wallet and paid with cash. While waiting for his change, he took the tiny pink sherbet spoon and slipped it into his wallet. The cashier asked him if he would like a receipt, and Sgt. Slaughter said no and walked away. The cashier leaned over the counter and whispered, “That's Sgt. Slaughter!” I mouthed back, "I know!"


Curtain Free

There is a side door to my house. If I open it from the inside out, I can grab the outside like a curtain, and part it. On the other side of the curtain, there is a large white room filled with comfortable furniture, and the floor is covered in fur. On the opposite side of the room from the curtain is a large floor-to-ceiling window. The sun is always shining through it, basking the whole room in a perfect warmth.

I have only been able to take a few steps into it, since I always keep a hand holding on to the curtain. I don't want to drop it and lose my place. On the other side of the curtain is what looks like another door. I want to find out if this curtain door leads back into my house again, but I don't want to find out if it doesn't.

It's hard though, on days like today, when it's so cold and rainy and gray outside, to suppress the urge to push it all aside, kick off my clothes, and roll around on the warm white fur floor, curtain free.


Blood-gas Leaches

Gobbly goobly gobbity gook. Shake your flappy face cheeks and sprinkle-spray the slobbery spit-strings out from behind your clenched teeth. Now cut two of your fingers off with two other fingers from your other hand. To know which fingers are your scissors, just hold up two fingers and bring them together then pull them apart—move them like they were a real pair of scissors and see which ones do it naturally. This is your other hand—the cutting hand.

Chop chop.
Snip snip.

There is invisible blood everywhere—squirting out of your knuckles. It looks like red gas. It looks like colored smoke, but it's odorless. It's definitely gas, because it used to be liquid blood. It comes out thick, but quickly dissipates before it reaches half-way to the ceiling.

Your fallen fingers look like worms. The nail, the tail—the bone and severed meat, the head. Don't pick them up with your scissor-fingers or you'll cut them to pieces. Use your pinky and your thumb to grab them, then stick the finger-worm's head into the invisible-red blood-gas. Hold it still until the gas stops spewing and the finger sticks. Then, when it feels right, wiggle your worm-fingers around to check for gas leaks.

Now all your fingers look like worm butts. Wiggle them and see. Happy little worm fingers, suckling at your palm.

Blood-gas leaches.


It Smells Like Beer In Here

I was just getting into a groove. I was about to write a piece about grabbing a squirrel by gripping its soft little body with my bare hands, then when it struggles and scratches my finger joints to bites and pieces, I would grab on to its tail and sling it into the air—twirling its body around my head like a lasso, then fling it forward and watch it flail in the air then bounce on the ground and run away.

I was just about to use that image to sit back at the typewriter and lose myself in the tapping typing twirling whirling, then my phone rang. Jason called to tell me that he locked the keys in the car, which was still running—he had just stepped out of the car to drop off some clothes at Goodwill, and the door closed behind him. So instead of writing about flinging a squirrel across the lawn, I hopped on my bike and raced to rescue Jason. Ten minutes later, the car was unlocked and I was on my way back home, thinking about writing again.

When I returned, my typewriter was waiting for me right where I left it, mid-page wound around the roller. I unpacked my bike-things, took a breath, and retraced my thoughts. Nothing worth writing happened. I tried going back outside to sneak a cigarette like I was doing when Jason called, hoping that being back outside would bring back the squirrel. I only had one cigarette left, so I lit it and decided to walk to the corner store and pick up a new pack, and maybe I'd see a squirrel along the way.

The corner store was a mess. A customer had just dropped a forty on the floor in front of the counter. There was beer and glass everywhere you needed to step, and a man was sweeping it all into a dustpan with a broom—liquid and glass. The man at the counter, who presumably dropped the forty, looked frustrated and stormed out. A small lady in front of me started talking nervously to anyone's attention—something about her son who was standing against the ice cream cooler, waiting for his crazy mom to get what she needed. She was the next in line, so she stepped up to the counter and into the beer puddle. She didn't seem to mind the man sweeping at the beer and glass around her feet. She got a phone call as she was turning to leave, and explained over the phone how she was just at the store and had bought a beer because she needed it after a day like today. Stepping back through the puddle to gather her son, I was next in line. I stepped up to ask for cigarettes, while a man behind me exclaimed, "It smells like beer in here."


Have to Want

It's never enough to be satisfied with what you already have when you can want anything and everything imaginable.