by LJ Frank
A tear of wax slowly slid down the thick candle sitting on top of the rectangular hardwood table with a defined pock mark near an edge, perhaps created by a cigarette burn from the previous owner. A spacious window nearby overlooked a flower and vegetable garden that appeared to be overgrown with unidentifiable weeds. The early morning sky was clear and the sun was hidden behind tall deciduous trees as she sipped her dark roast coffee, bit into a muffin and eyed the freshly picked strawberries resting on a nearby plate. Alone with the zeitgeist of a pandemic, her dwelling retained a peculiar elegance with its sparse furnishings and books piled on top of others in each room with enough space for a queen-sized bed. A large painting of a sunflower hung on the living room wall.
The telephone rang.
“Hello. I’m sorry. Your voice is fading. What?” Isabella asked as she put down her ink pen on the table and held her phone closer to her ear.
“Is that better?” The man’s voice asked.
“I asked, are you writing?”
“Oh Jacque, what else is there?”
“Hm. Do you ever feel naked when someone catches you writing?”
“Why? I’m not sure of what you’re referring? I’m wearing a long sheer white cotton shirt over my bare skin.” She then cleared her throat.
“Isabella, writing is a very personal affair. It’s a relationship between your mind and heart, and the keyboard in which you are typing words or the language you’re penning on a sheet of paper…writing is the recipient and expression of your passion.”
“It sounds rather carnal. I’m using a pen to write on a legal pad.”
“That’s a rather lascivious arrangement,” Jacque smiled to himself.
She sensed the smile in his voice. “I know. My pen becomes animated through my gentle but firm touch. I steer the hard tool I have clasping in my soft, gentle fingers and press lightly on the paper, teasing the words out and allowing for a shuddering and the watery fluid is then ejaculated and flows on to the paper to express my purest emotions.”
“Sounds libidinous. It does require concentration.”
“Total concentration. The process allows my imagination to experiment and explore. When I’m finished and reach the climax I go back over the story to see if I need to rewrite portions of it and engage my heart again. I have to feel the paper with my hands. The textures. The foreplay of ideas excites me.” Isabella said taking a break to suck on a strawberry to freshen her breath.
“You live a sensuous life, my friend. So you become naked to yourself in order to reveal that nakedness to others…terribly intimate.”
“It’s an affair, Jacque. Some are longer than others but all serve a purpose.”
“Are the better writers non-monogamous?”
“In some sense isn’t everyone?”
“Do you ever want to start over again with the same work to experience the lust within?”
“No. Once I’m finished I take a deep breath and move on to the next piece. That way you never lose the natural edge when your engaging in something new. It keeps you on your toes, so to speak. Some works require a typewriter or a keyboard and monitor and others require just pen and paper. It depends on, shall we say, the nature of the affair, at least for me. And some affairs are easier to edit than others. I just have to be very close to my subject.”
“Why is that?”
“I thought you knew! I’m legally blind.”