I Can't Write Like This

by Lyle Estill

ME? I WANT TO BE looking out a picture window at the exact same scene.
I'm not that picky about it. It can be juncos feeding on the ground.

Or sculpture.

I can't write when the children are fighting.

Or when there is Lego flying overhead.

I cannot integrate Play Mobile wars into my thinking.

And when I suggest to my wife

That I cannot write like this,

She sneers.

"Go write."

"If you don't like dirty dishes, wash them."

To which I reply,

Do you think Ernest Hemingway had to put up with this in Key West?

"He had an ocean. He had a view."

To which my wife turns on the blender.

She's making smoothies for the children and cannot hear me.

"Do you think Hunter S. Thompson had to put up with this? He looked out his window at a mountainside . . . "

To which my wife turns on the vacuum cleaner.

She shouts through the roar, "How many words are you at?"

I can't write like this.

I need a library, a smoking jacket, and a glass of port before I can begin.

I need a turret. A private lake, and a setting that will inspire me to write.

Which is all fine with her.

Yoga is at five thirty, music lessons are an hour earlier, and don't forget
that soccer is starting next week.

"If you have a hard time writing on the floor of the hallway outside the
chiropractor’s office, perhaps you should try writing in the car."

I can't write like this.

I need a waterfall, a quiet collection of books, and a contemplative scene.

"Pick the children up from Billy and Kathie's, help them with their homework, there might be something in the fridge--I have a meeting, so tell them I will be home late. Get some writing done."

But I can't write like this.

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