Hook drove to Port Aransas yesterday morning for a long weekend of fishing and to enjoy a time of de-stress before he begins a new round of chemo treatments in another week. I worried that he shouldn’t be driving alone because he’s been so tired lately. I asked multiple times if he wanted me to go with him, afraid he might get down there and realize he was too tired to drive back.
After asking for a fourth time if he was absolutely sure that he didn’t want me to go, he said, “Well, not if you’re going to bitch all weekend about how you don’t want to be there.”
With my index finger pointing at his face, I said, “Okay, I’m not going to be offended by that but only because you might still have cancer. Otherwise, I would kick your ass all over this kitchen.”
Can you feel the love?
I kissed Hook on the cheek afterwards and let out a sigh because the thought of driving four hours to the coast and four hours back was not enticing. I’m trying to finish my first book: The Mystery Behind the Masters. Raise your hand if you think it’s a book about golf. It’s not. It’s a how-to book for professionals considering a master’s degree as a component of a career change.
It’s hard enough to stay motivated when writing creative fiction. Imagine what it’s been like for me to finish that piece of sleeping material. But, I’d put so many hours into writing it last Spring then I’d set it aside when everything started happening with Hook. I’d expected to finish it late last year so I could move on to a creative fiction story I’d briefly outlined. I didn’t want to give up on The Masters project just because I’d lost interest. It’s a critical read for anyone contemplating additional degrees, certifications, or licensing for their career or hoped-for career. Plus, it’s targeted to my Hook The Talent consumer audience. Oh my goodness, I sound like a commercial.
Anyway, I’d finally gotten my mojo back with the first draft written and now I’m in the editing phase. I’d been coveting a long weekend that would allow me to think/drink/breathe this book while editing, talking to myself, and drinking massive cups of coffee. When I write, my work is spread out all over the kitchen table with piles of paper everywhere. Notebooks lie strewn in varying positions on the sofa, fuchsia sticky notes plastered on stacks marked READ TODAY, yellow sticky notes on stacks marked READ SOMETIME, and red pen marks on stacks that mean READ RIGHT NOW.
You would think today and right now are the same, but in a writer’s world today is tomorrow and right now is today. Now you understand the need for coffee.
My paper mess annoys Hook. It annoys me, too, but less than it motivates me to keep focused. Hence my secret relief that Hook desired a fishing weekend alone which gave me the physical space I needed. Gatita was relieved, too, because it meant she could sleep on the beds and the sofas without some male voice yelling, “Get off!” every time he caught her breaking unexplained house rules.
Hook doesn’t know it but when he’s not here, Gatita’s favorite thing to do is dig her claws into his leather lounger, kneading the same area over and over again. She pokes little holes into the leather with her claws leaving what looks like pock marks in the corner of the seat of the lounger. Hook felt them one day by accident and he took off his glasses to peer more closely while feeling around for them.
“Has Gatita been on this lounger?” he asked.
“What?” I said, shaking my head and avoiding eye contact, “She knows you’d scream at her if she did that.”
That’s me telling the truth while not telling the truth.
I was laughing earlier not because of Gatita and her dirty little secret to silently ruin her master’s favorite lounger. I was laughing because I remembered something Hook said to me towards the end of last year. Something to do with me briefing his people on his hospital stay. Something that was uncomfortable for him to talk to them about so he asked if I would do it instead, but then he tried to tell me how to say it.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll be subtle about it.”
Hook snorted, “You’re about as subtle as a nuclear weapon.”
“Yes,” I said. “and even that isn’t enough sometimes.”
Still, another good one by Dr. Hook . . .