Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


A slithering rattle echoed above me and I glanced at the ceiling. The TV antenna wire must have broken loose in the wind. I opened the door to a howl and saw the wire hanging down, then peered through the rain and could see that the plastic over my cars window still held.

I checked the carpet, thought it might be OK and sat back down to resume my reverie.

Elsa. I'd been sitting in my office last spring with the window cracked so I could hear the birds singing. The phone rang, and after so many weeks I was surprised to hear Elsa's voice. "Hi MW, would you like to go to a B&B? On Friday?". For some reason I found that hilarious and started laughing uncontrollably. Finally I got myself under control. "Hi Elsa, what are you talking about?".

"I was given an assignment for a story in a small town". Elsa was a feature reporter. Her words were a little clipped and I wondered if she was mad about my laughing. "One of the residents in the town has built a restaurant next to a B&B, and he has plans to totally redo his little farming community into a tourist haven. I'm supposed to interview the guy and see what the other community residents think. I know you love small towns... Part of the assignment is to try the restaurant, so we'll get a free dinner".

I processed that for a moment, then asked "And the B&B part?". She replied with a laugh "Oh, we'll look at it but I wasn't planning on staying". I was actually relieved by that statement. I had made a date with Lisa for a Saturday morning walk and I didn't feel like telling Elsa that.

Friday arrived and we set off with Elsa driving. Out of the city the fields were just sprouting and we rolled through the green velvet hills without talking much. I became comfortable and lost myself in the play of cloud shadows racing along the ground.

She interviewed the owner of the B&B and restaurant first. I was amazed at the transformation. I had concluded that Elsa was pretty mild and somewhat boring and now she was aggressively questioning the guy. She had a knack for finding areas that he didn't want to talk about - she was half his size and she dominated him entirely.

Somehow the interview finished on a positive note and we were led to the restaurant. The food was wonderful and the atmosphere was comfortable and we talked in intense whispers about the interview and the guys plans. The conversation continued after dinner as we wandered through the tiny town. I was incredibly excited by this new image of her and our talking was fun and animated.

We drove back to the city under a sliver of moon, and when we arrived at her house she invited me in. I sat on the couch while she bustled around putting music on and getting drinks. When she came back she sat right next to me, her leg touching mine, and I said "I think I should kiss you". After a while she took my hand and placed it on her breast and things progressed till she was naked. We explored a long time and then somehow mutually agreed to stop. I was glad - I wasn't sure how I felt about my resolution made so long ago, and I had never dreamed I might have to think about my feelings about sex that night. I left as dawn was breaking.

Elsa and I had a date a couple days later and we did OK by filling the awkward moments with kisses and on the next date she introduced me to her little boy Jeff. Jeffy and I played together and he sat on my lap at dinner and when it was time to go home he gave me a kiss and a hug. I couldn't get enough of him and he filled Elsa's and my conversation and time together.

Thinking of Jeffy agitated me and I got up from my chair to check the carpet again. I couldn't decide if heat would help dry the carpet or cause the mildew to grow faster. I settled for running the furnace motor without heat.

Again I stared at the blinking light on the answering machine. I thought of Jeffy missing me, knew he'd be crying and asking his mom when I'd be coming, then asking her again when she gave him an answer he didn't like. How could I have done this to a sweet little three year old? Why in the hell didn't I just call it quits with Elsa? I knew it couldn't work after the first date. Every time we somehow connected she ended up screaming at me about something. I knew there was something wrong with her... Maybe there was something wrong with me? Did I miss her? I missed Jeff. The blinking light was getting to me and I couldn't stand it any longer. I pressed the play button...


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