No recipe for this week’s newsletter. It’s not because I’m out of them. In fact, this weekend, I made bread pudding, focaccia, and a hideously sunken banana walnut bread (still goes good down the hatch). This blog really isn’t a way to make money, though that would be welcomed. I write about what I witch, and I don’t always get the choice to witch what I choose.
The mood hits me, and I’m painting, baking, writing, or throwing hatchets (that last one will be material for an upcoming post). Lately, I’ve been writing where I didn’t think I would—on a book I want to market to a publisher instead of self-publishing. I thought I’d finished the bugger, but it keeps growing, changing, needing refinement that I didn’t expect. Every book I write is a means of self-discovery. Yes, of course, I write because I enjoy and want other people to love it like I adore my favorite stories and writers. Outside of that, though, I can’t think of a practical reason to write stories, memoir, or philosophy, all of which I do like it’s the one and only vocation I live for.
And it is.
So what if I write something that lots of people read? What was the point? To communicate something? Why shouldn’t I just go out with friends or chat up the patients I check in at my medical receptionist day job? I communicate with them, don’t I?
So, there’s something special about communicating through a book, something I have to do, or I wouldn’t be me. Yet, even if I do that to the tune of international fame, what’s the point? Yeah, I’ll have communicated something. To what end, though?
I honestly don’t know. Nor do I have to know. It’s a spell I do, like baking and painting, or cracking a joke. It doesn’t accomplish anything. My meals, stories, rhetoric, and art make a connection with bellies, hearts, and minds, but why the effort? I apparently just need to do it, and that’s very selfish on the face of it, not to mention narcissistic. The utterance of the spell implies the hubristic assumption that I have something to give. The hard-and-fast utilitarian can easily say that I do it to be heard, even by a tiny audience of appreciators. Still, I don’t know why I do it anymore than I know why I’m here in the first place.
Presumably, the universe would still be here if I didn’t go to the trouble. Yet, I’m here anyway. And that says something. Something about the fact I’m here when I might as well not be says that I’m here for something more than vanity or coincidence. And, as I’ve been fond of saying frequently since I transitioned, “There are no coincidences.”
So, I’m going to tell you a story about my day job that made me blush every color in the spectrum. This really happened, though it’s both mundane and odd enough that I find it needful to tell.
On Halloween day, a patient who’d been particularly chatty at check-in called out to me from his exam room and in his boxers, while taking off his socks to reveal his swollen, purple feet (which he was there to see our surgeon about), serenaded me (his son also in the exam room, harmonizing) with the “Aura Lea” version of “Love Me Tender” that they said their ancestor wrote back in 1861. THEN, they sang “Love Me Tender” as the head surgeon of our clinic was entering the room. I whispered to the doctor, “THEY called me in. I’ve nuthin’ to do with this, I swear!”
I then told the father-and-son duet act, “That was lovely, gentlemen—those songs perfectly express how I feel about my wife,” and got the hell outta Dodge.
So, yeah, CREEPY, but not in the usual Halloween way.
The doctor later smiled at me about the incident, so no harm done, I suppose. Still, I was flush with 17 different kinds of embarrassment, discomfort, and … gratitude(?)
Yes, I was grateful. They didn’t have to sing it, but they did, making my morning at the clinic something I’ll never forget. Other than me, the doctor, and three MAs in the clinic, those two men had no other audience.
Yet they sang like it was what they were called to do.
I wonder how many of us do that?
Then I remembered that I write.