Monday, April 26, 2010

Out of Retirement

His life in my sock drawer had become all too predictable. The morning I found him face down, shedding little fuzz-ball tears on my favorite turquoise socks, I knew it was time he and I shared another adventure. It had been almost four years since our trip out in the Northwest. A few days later we hit the road, driving east from Tulsa along I-44 toward Joplin and beyond. It was a beautiful sunshiny spring morning, the gas tank was full, First Mate stood tall in his cup holder, and I sang at the top of my lungs, "Zippity doo dah, zippity aye, my oh my, what a wonderful day," as we rolled along. More songs, then in a moment of silence, voices! Before we reached Joplin, an entire new play unfolded inside my head: characters, dialogue, names, places, motivations, plot twists, and the ending. I explained all this to First Mate, about my fourteen dead-end drafts crumpled up and thrown away in Tulsa, about my decision to let go of the short play contest this year, and, well, he got so excited, he jumped clear out of his cup holder and nearly slipped into that greasy crevice between the passenger seat and console. I caught him by his tippy toes just in time for us to gawk at a stunning display of redbuds in bloom.

To be continued . . .

For background information, please read post dated 10-1-09.