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8 Scenes from a Writing Retreat

1.
Me: I want to answer this post on Facebook. Can I just do it here on your computer from your account?
Her: Yes.
Me: Wait, where is the M?
Her: Where the M would be.
Me: But when I poke the M, I get a semicolon.
Her: Don’t poke the M. Poke it where the M should BE.
Me: What? I am poking the M where it is.
Her: You can’t, because it is a French keyboard. I went to France, you know. This summer. A whole month.
Me: OMG SHUT UP ABOUT FRANCE. Where would the M be?
Her: How have you written five thousand novels and you do not know where the M should be? How can you not touch type, still?
Me: HOW CAN YOU TYPE ON THIS IT SAYS Z BUT MAKES A W, WHERE IS W????
Her: Look for it where it would BE if it wasn’t French.
Me: I am going to my computer.

2.
*At the liquor store. The owner is an ancient bug-eyed man, very friendly and nice and super crazy*
Me: Where can we find a grocery store?
Him: If you just want groceries, you can go to the Winn Dixie, but if that’s not what you mean…
Me: Yes????
Him: If you don’t want just groceries, but you really want to browse and have fun, you have to go down to The Development and see the Piggley Wiggley.
Her: I WANT TO BROWSE AND HAVE FUN.
Me: I WANT TO GO TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND SEE THE PIGGLEY WIGGLEY.
Him: It’s a beautiful store.

3.
Me: I’m not saying you won’t toil in obscurity all your life and then die. I’m just saying you’re one of the greatest writers of our generation.
Her: Make me another French martini.

4.

*Walking down the beach*
Her: Look at the prints. Someone was riding a horse down this beach.
Me: Oh, look by the waves, there were two horses.
*a little farther on, the waves have eaten half the second horse’s prints.
Me: Look, the second horse only had two legs!
Her: *wisely* No, that’s where the second horse was carrying the first one.

5.
Her: She claims her six year old is a Yogi.
Me: What’s a Yogi?
Her: A Yogi is like if Yoga had a black belt. Like, if you’re a yogi then you are the Pope of Yoga.
Me: I want to be that. The Pope of Yoga. I want to be that and I want a shirt that says that.

6.
Her: The thing is, if we were GOING to become alcoholics, we would have by now. It’s too late. I’m almost forty, I am pretty much set in my ways, and so are you. It’s is kind of sad, really. I mean, we went to the liquor store and we BOUGHT IT, essentially, the whole place, and then we came home and we couldn’t even finish that bottle of red wine before we fell asleep.

7.
Her: Have I told you that you are never allowed to say JOURNEY again? Reality television has ruined it.
Me: I think you should explain to me how you came to be on this journey that led you to a place where you hate this word.
Her: SHUT UP. I MEAN IT.
Me: So I can’t use it as a verb.
Her: Right. Or a noun.
Me: Can you say it, like, “When I was a young stoner, I liked the band Journey?”
Her: yes.
Me: Can you say, in 1042, the young apprentice blacksmith finally became a journeyman…
Her: Yes. In fact you can use it any pre-Industrial Revolution context. The tribes of Israel are allowed to journey through the desert. You can’t use it with any singular personal pronouns though. I or she or he. Only historical groups can journey. That rule may actually eliminate some non-offensive uses, but it is better to be safe.
Me: Can dark elves journey to Mount Mordor.
Her: No. But for different reasons.
Me: Ah. Tough Guide to Fantasy Land.
Her: Right. You can’t journey to Mount Mordor or eat stew. Not ever again.
*we blink sadly at our empty cake plates*

8.
Her: I told my husband that he has to haunt me.
Me: Do what now?
Her: Dan and I have a deal for when he dies. If he has a choice to either go into the light or to stay and eke out a miserable half life in the shadows, damned for all eternity so whenever I really miss him he can sway the drapes or move a chair a couple of inches, he has to choose B.
Me: What about you?
Her: No. I go into the light. Dan is kind of OCD. He doesn’t really want the chairs to be moved.

15 comments to 8 Scenes from a Writing Retreat

  • Hahahaha oh wow. I wish I could hang out with you except that I’m not witty enough to provide all the fabulous rejoinders 😉 Thanks for the laughs.

  • Someday, I would like to be your best friend. You are awesomely funny!

  • Mit

    I cannot tell you how much I <3 #8

    It has made me giggle – thinking about how much the OCD person would be pissed ALL.THE.TIME – and here the dammed for all eternity soul was just trying to say, "I love you still".

    Maybe this only works because of my sick sense of relationships. Anyway – thanks for the vignettes.

  • Elizabeth

    Hahaha– your and your friend could be my sisters. I have twitchy pain in my abdomen when I come home from a visit, and subsequently realize, all over again, that I have laughed my way into a muscle spasm.

  • Marlaroo

    Agreed. #8 is wonderful, but #4 is a close second. 🙂

  • edj

    scene 1—AUGH! YES! I feel your pain. I *$*#@&$*(#* HATE French keyboards, and I don’t usually even swear. I touch type just fine, but those things mess me up.
    As for the rest, I want to hang out with you guys. 🙂

  • Carrie (in MN)

    I like #8 too, but it’s really too bad her husband won’t be allowed to journey into the light.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    The way you set up #2, I thought the crazy bug-eyed man was going to tell you where to buy marijuana or something like that.

    As someone who really suffers from OCD, the disorder, I feel that I have to point out that when people say that someone is “kind of OCD”, they are usually referring to a personality type and not the actual brain disorder. Felix Unger from “The Odd Couple” was OCP (Obsessive Compulsive Personality) – evidenced by the fact that he couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t aspire to the same sense of neatness that he did.
    Anyone with OCD would not wish it on their worst enemy.

  • With all the drink addled sleeping and visiting fun grocery stores and beach walking and general jocularity, your family will be LUCKY if you come back home again.

  • Laura B.

    #4!! The. Best.

  • Haley

    I had a French roommate in college. If she asked me to look something up for her I would try and end up saying I would do it on my computer and email it to her. I can’t deal with those.

    I am surprised you can’t touch-type yet. I totally failed typing class in seventh grade but I type so much now that I don’t usually have to look at the keyboard. Sometimes I close my eyes to test myself, and 70% of the time it ends up right, but the other 30% it is like this: hi, joshilun jaskon, i luke yous blof.

  • Awesome! I’m still hoping we get another Piggly Wiggly story but this was great, thanks!
    (LOVE the haunting scene! That would be the only reason my hubby would be happy to see me go first. He gets everything lined up, just as he likes, and if I could still come back and mess with it?!?!!? He might as well just go, now.) 😉

  • Brigitte

    I took a touch typing class back in the dinosaur days, but my fingers kept drifting and I’d get gibberish. My hunt and peck method is fast enough, however, to have freaked observing co-workers.

    I like #6, because I do worry about my status occasionally, seeing I love various libations so much, but then feel comforted when I realize I drink once a month and fall asleep after two drinks.

  • DebR

    Wait…what about Re-everything?? I want to know why this was not titled Retreat: 8 Scenes from a Writing One! (I almost said Retreat: 8 Scenes from a Writing Journey, but I’m scared a certain someone would hurt me.)

  • Aimee

    Ha! This is awesome. It sounds like the best retreat ever.