As I fumble my way back into writing after dealing with the holidays, a son with a bad case of toothache, and Drama in Real Life (we’ve come down with a bad case of The Economy over here), I thought I’d fill in the posting gaps with a little bit of nonsense I discovered in my files today. I wrote it in late October as work on my NaNoWriMo novel (about Bebe, an aging Vaudevillian) rekindled inspiration for my main novel, set in 1969.
Music plays a big part in painting my fictional worlds.
I’m sure it makes no sense to those who haven’t read my novels, but just consider it a promise that I’ll be back soon with something more relevant.
Bob Dylan and George Harrison stopped by today to say, “Hey, what the hell, man? Your main novel heard you were seeing some floozy from the ’30s. What about 1969?”
I’ve been pining for their stupid novel, missed it so much that I was an emotional wreck at the sight of them, wanting to fling myself into their arms, but I didn’t want them to see that.
I said, “What about it? Main Novel’s refused to answer my calls or see me for months now. I’m tired of weeping into my pillow. I have to move on.”
Bob held out a hand. “But Main Novel loves you. It just got…confused.”
I turned my back.
They said, “All right, man. We didn’t want to do this, but now we’ve got to call in The Beach Boys.”
One by one, the Beach Boys filed into the room, and I faltered. They lined up behind Bob and George and gazed at me with big sad eyes. They said nothing, just hummed in quiet harmony. They knew how protective I feel toward the character they represent.
Sergio Mendes slipped through the door, apologizing for being late, said Mama Cass took too long at the diner. Looking out the window, I saw Jose Feliciano shuffling up the front walk, feeling for each crack with his white stick, and I threw out my hands.
“Okay! Okay! I admit it. I miss you and want to come back. No more!”
The sound of approaching mambo drums ceased, leaving a moment of quiet in which I could hear one last fading wail from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar.
Bob nodded at the file for my primary novel and made an impatient gesture, but I shook my head.
From the back room, I could hear Hoagy Carmichael and Scott Joplin warming up on the piano, hoped they wouldn’t come out here.
“It’s just… You came at an awkward time. I’ve already got plans with my rebound prequel for the next month.”
There was grousing and mumbling among the men, and I wondered if I was crazy, risking this longed-for reconciliation, but at last George said, “Okay, but if we decide we’ve waited long enough, you’d better be ready to drop everything and come with us.”
That pissed me off. “Excuse me?”
Sergio placed a hand on George’s shoulder. “He means please. Please come back, if we need you. Being dead makes George uptight.”
I relented. Nodding, I showed my guests to the door.
At the foot of the front steps, George turned back. “You’re just lucky we didn’t have to involve that Maria Cortez.”
A voice behind the hedgerow said, “It’s Marisa Elena Talbot Cortese, you bastard!”
One last beat from the mambo drummers sent the men scrambling.
I closed the door and patted Antonio Carlos Jobim’s head. He’d been hiding his face in a pillow, feeling awkward because he’s in both books. He asked which book I was going to do.
I said, “I don’t know. Might get ugly if Bebe goes to battle with Marisa.”
But, hey, it would make a hell of a story.