Friend Dudley actually visited me the other day. We regularly cross paths in this or that store, on the street, or occasionally even in church, but he very rarely visits anyone, me included. It seems he was unhappy with me, and was rather adamant that I hear him out: “Really”, he said, “I have little enough distraction in this world without you getting lazy and not writing one of your ‘thingies'”. He meant my blog posts, which seem to average about one-a-month.
“I can’t just sit down and write”, I said. “I have to have something to write ABOUT. Like when I wrote the first one, I was remembering a letter I’d written to fellow golfers in my family about the game I learned all those years ago. It related that I’d learned to use far fewer clubs than are common now and how the game was different back then.” “Exactly!” he said. “THAT was entertaining. It distracted me from the humdrum for a while and I liked it. Why can’t you crank out a few more of those and send ’em on to me as soon as you can?”
“It’s not that simple,” I told him. “It just doesn’t work that way. First I have to have a clear subject, something that interests me at the time. It has to mean something to me that I want to get across to my readers.” He, of course, wasn’t having any of this: “Oh! Come on! What about the one where the lady died and you wrote about how you misunderstood her the first time you met her and ignored her friendly greeting? You can’t tell me that was a pleasant memory or something that interested you!” And it wasn’t. It was a kind of spiritual farewell to a kind person I’d misread terribly, and wanted to square myself with her after her passing. I explained that to him, but Dud is far too removed from such things to accept that.
“Well, what about the one about the tree! Or the one about being scared your wife had cancer? You hated the tree, and the scare over your wife couldn’t be that “interesting” but you wrote about them anyway.” “But writing those was cathartic: A release for me after an emotional experience,” I said. “They were something to write about that had real meaning to me. Like the one about words that people misuse constantly because they think it’s “cool”, or gives them a certain status. Words like “issues” or “iconic” are constantly used incorrectly by idiots who have no idea of what they mean.” It’s a pet peeve, I know, but it really riles me.
I never did satisfy my friend about this, and I suppose I should be flattered: He seems to enjoy the blog, and that got him to stop bye to see me when he doesn’t like to venture to peoples’ homes. Dudley is one of those guys who always wears his grouchy heart on his sleeve , and I kind of admire that. At least Dud has a filter: an inate sense of what’s proper and what isn’t, and it’s always engagedand and working properly. If only that was the case with EVERYONE who effects our lives daily.