Sunday, April 15, 2007

the arsenal

There are three boys playing vigorously in the next room. It’s nearly noon on a Sunday, and I’m still in my jammies. I’m working. Been writing all morning—a new project for which I feel the old mojo. Feels so. Damn. Good.

The theme of this new project includes aspects of the questions I’ve been chewing on for years, namely, how close to edge is too close? Especially when you’ve got kids you’re raising by yourself, and a livelihood dependent upon balance and sanity.

In a life-meets-art moment this morning a neighbor mom came shuffling through my mudroom door just as I was writing dialogue from a kid confronting his mom about her inappropriate choices. So here I am in the Sunday morning writing chaos, unkempt hair, pjs, dirty breakfast dishes and couch cushions in “fort” piles all about. The mudroom mom was hand-wringing and nervous. Seems she’d been meaning to ask me about something for months. Last time her son (a wan vegetarian boy she’s raising on her own) came over, he saw a gun. A real gun. He reported this real gun to his mom, and his mom was caught in that weird social anxiety place where you wrestle with confronting another mom with something that may or may not be true.

Well, it’s mostly true. Carson does have a gun. A blue rifle bb gun. But he doesn’t have bb’s for it. Here in town, anyways. I had to try and explain my (our) somewhat un-pc philosophy on guns. (I didn’t begin thus: Well, when your son’s father is a redneck… so, two points for me!) Carson has, indeed, discharged an actual firearm out at the hotsprings. But today, here in town, I offered mitigated consolation to the mudroom mom. “There are no working weapons on the premises.”

Except, of course, for Carson’s collection of knives.

In this new project, the centerpiece boy character is a kid like this mudroom mom’s boy: a sunken, raccoon-eyed waif to whom you just want to serve up a side of beef. He’s my foil. The element around which the plot hangs. I’ve just introduced another character to fan the flames, complicate the dynamics. I’m in the zone, baby. Watch out!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. If you have trouble posting a comment, let me know!