A Walk in the Park
by Julie Bloss Kelsey
“What is it?” she snaps. Impeccably dressed in a three-tiered suit, she looks like a walking wedding cake. Make that an angry walking wedding cake. I try not to laugh.
“We need to talk,” I say. “About your writing.”
At this, she pauses and absently picks invisible lint from her suit. “I don’t write. Not any more.” She picks up her pace.
"Yes, you do,” I say. I block her path. “Remember last night? You described the riders on the subway in that letter to your mother.”
She smiles. With her stride broken, I tug at her shoulder pad and point at the closest park bench. “Sit!”
She dutifully sits, but her legs soon lace tight. She crosses her arms. “I should get back to work,” she hisses in my direction.
“The work will wait,” I remind her. I use the same gentle tone of voice that I used the day before, and the day before that. “Stay with me awhile,” I whisper. “You’ll have fun.”
For a moment, I have her. She starts to point at the swaying leaves. Look at that! I think she’s going for the notebook!
She murmurs under her breath, “Look at that!”
But then she withdraws her hand. Into her pocket it goes. Out pops the day planner.
I hate that thing. This one is a tiny version of the monster that occupies her desk at work. Her office is a disaster: so much paperwork overflowing with writing, but none of it really matters. I wish I could convince her of that.
She is busy finding just the right tab in the day planner. “Accounts payable meeting at 2 pm.” She checks her watch. “I have to go.”
I grab at her sleeve, but I am no match for her when she’s like this.
“Look at the trees!” I shout at her retreating back. A passerby stares in my direction. I try again, focusing more intently on her. “Look at the trees. Don’t the leaves look like giant eyeballs?”
She stops mid-stride and casts a glance back at the park bench, wearing a curious smile. She checks her watch again. “Maybe there’s time,” she murmurs.
I heave a sigh of relief as she sits down, puts the planner away, and pulls out a ragged notebook and a ball-point pen.
“Now, where were we?” she asks.
I snuggle close. “We were looking at the eyeballs in the trees.” The aspens quake as if on cue.
She holds the pen over paper, so close that I can almost move the nib. My hand hovers over hers.
tap on my shoulder
gaze at my heart
watch my every move
remind me of what’s important.
We sit next to each other on the park bench for a long time, not talking, not writing, just enjoying each other’s company: a girl and her muse.
When not chasing after her three kids, Julie Bloss Kelsey enjoys writing poetry, creative nonfiction, magazine articles, and stories for children. Her work has appeared online at Absolute Write, FundsforWriters, and Writing-World.com. Visit her on the web at Mama Joules (http://www.mamajoules.blogspot.com), her family-friendly science blog.
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