by Robert J. Wetherall
“Geez,” says my good friend, Eddie Salinski, “I almost forgot. The mating season for writers starts next week.”
“What in Sam Hell are you talking about?” I asked as we floated ensconced in Eddie’s little wood-planked rowboat, about thirty feet off-shore on a small lake near his house trailer. The mosquitoes, gnats, and horse flies were biting. The bass were not.
“It's a concept I developed several years ago. Writers begin mating in June each year. Their genre doesn’t matter. Whether they’re creators of fiction, non-fiction, or whatever, they all lay eggs. These eggs hatch in around 21 days, providing of course that a caring agent has been sitting on them.”
“How do you come up with this nonsense?” I asked gently, knowing that to question this writing icon more aggressively might cause him to fall silent.
“It’s all up here,” he said, tapping his forehead, his eyes alight with pride and smugacity.
Now, if I were having this same conversation with any one other than Eddie, I would have jumped out of the boat and swam lickety-split to shore. But I knew that Eddie did not become one of America’s most treasured writers (and welders) by having average thoughts. So I remained calm and awaited further revelation.
The morning was quiet. A huge dragonfly about the size of a Cadillac El Dorado lazily landed on my bobber, confident that it had found the driest surface in the universe. Eddie’s raspy voice broke the silence. “You see, it’s like this,” he declared with certainty. “Writers need intercourse of all kinds with other writers. And while they’re about it, they exchange ideas. They polish their nuances. Critique one another. And inspire. It’s all part of the grand scheme of things. They get out of themselves. They talk to people. And their work becomes a blend of the best. Kinda noble, don’t ya think?”
“But about this egg thing,” I interjected.
“Don’t worry ‘bout breakfast.”
“No, you mentioned writers laying eggs and hatching them, and agents, and all that.”
Eddie pulled in his line and began wrestling with the anchor rope. “Just trying to get your attention,” he said, grabbing the oars and pivoting the boat toward shore.
A feisty horse fly bit through my thick wool socks, drawing blood on my ankle.
“Let’s go get us some breakfast,” Eddie said, grinning at me happily. “I could go for some eggs about now. Maybe some bacon, too.”
I just nodded in agreement and decided to drop the whole thing.
“We’ve had enough intercourse for one morning,” he said.
Robert J. Wetherall
LAST FLIGHT HOME
THE MAKING OF BERNIE TRUMBLE
Available at Amazon.com, PenumbraPublishing.com, WetherallBooks.com