I sat down last night thinking about writing. I decided that I need to exercise my muscles. Not training for a specific event or try to accomplish something now, just exercise those writing muscles that will, when the opportunity arises, be ready (or at least more ready) to go. I had a couple of folks, Elkit and Mary, suggest that I participate in nanowrimo in 2006. Totally intimidating but hugely intriguing. So I just went for it...here's what I ended up with...
I remember reading a bunch of Hemmingway in college. He came across as bigger than life, strong, able, kind of romantic. I never felt really great reading his stuff though and I think it’s because his female characters were always rather subservient. They never expected much from themselves. They were often noble, but not brilliant or extraordinary. The settings of Hemmingway’s stories always grabbed me. A boat on the ocean with nothing else around. A war in Spain, bull fighting, on a mountain in Africa. He was blessed to have been able to travel so much. Had a lot to pull from when he sat down to write in Key West at his beautiful wood table with fans blowing and cigar in mouth, bourbon in glass. Papa they called him. I can see that. I bet he was an ass to live with though. Drunk, moody, unsettled. But what a sight to see.
Then there is Maya. Again blessed (and cursed) with a set of life experiences from which to draw from. Abuse, prostitution, show business, cable car conductor, wife, mother, living in Africa, San Francisco, the south, St. Louis.
How do you form such rich stories with a life of experiences that is so limited? The most exotic places I’ve been to are Hawaii and Tiajuana. Sheesh.
I could write a little about Hawaii. How you can actually breath there. How the air seems so much thinner and easier to breath yet so thick with fragrance and passion. And the fruit! Pineapple/Orange/Guava juice. Affectionately known as POG. Every day…all day. Sometimes with a little rum or some other such yummy mixed in. To top off your day…or to start it! Beach boys and girls running around with their boards. Who knows what they really do for a living. But this IS their living. The pounding waves that are quiet, loud, powerful and elegant all at the same time. Sand sliding through your toes. Wet. Warm. Delicious.
The sun like a blanket. Hot skin. The water is cool and warm. The boats bopping on the horizon. Gently. With people on board drinking Mai Tais and laughing. Fishing maybe. Or not. Kids on surfboards for the first time. Nervous, excited, tired.
The sleep that comes after a day at the beach, in the water, on the sand with the cocktails. Solid, easy, warm, smelling like lotion, and salt. Waking to the morning. Not caring that it is 6:00 am. Sunrises to see, celebrate. The day to welcome. Breakfast at Duke’s. The smell of bacon, eggs, fruit, POG. The birds eating the casualties from your plate. Tiny birds living at the shoreline. The excitement of the coming day all around. You can feel it in your blood. It runs calmly, but with great power. To feel blue and green water against your singed skin. Ready to ride a wave into shore. With just your body to stay on top of the curl as it carries you onto the beach. Away from your worries.
So who lives here? Or wants to live here? Who comes here sometimes? Who escapes here besides everyone? What are they escaping from? From whom are they escaping? For how long? With whom?
Do they come together? Or to get away from each other? Why? Why would they want to get away from each other? Maybe they are running towards each other? Did they meet some other time, some other place? Or this place. They are coming back together. Hawaii is too easy. Too predictable.