Andrew Wilson had been staring at the blank sheet of paper for the last five minutes. He tapped out a handful of words on his 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter that he had bought from a pawn shop in Phoenix for $10 bucks more than twenty years ago. Since then, the typewriter traveled the country with him and helped write hundreds of short stories, twenty-seven novels including a few best sellers, and a motion picture script or two.
Andy didn’t quite know what to do with himself. He usually spent his day working but here it was a little after noon and he had been kicked out of his office by a delusion. He plopped himself down in front of the television for a while and caught the end of a baseball game. Bored with television, he decided to take a short trip to the local book store to pick up a couple of novels he wanted with a detour to the hardware store for some mouse traps. When he got back from his trip into town, he took a seat on the deck and enjoyed the summer afternoon while he read.
Judy came out onto the deck wearing her chef’s apron rather than the heavy metal working apron she wore earlier and took a seat next to him. “Is something wrong?” she asked.
Setting his book down, Andy looked to his wife and for a moment considered telling her everything. He decided against it, because she would force him to seek psychological treatment or at the very least take some time off. He had a deadline and just couldn’t afford the downtime. Sighing, he finally said, “Just fighting with some writer’s block.”
“I see. So, you came out here to clear your head?” She asked already knowing the answer.
“Yeah,” he said. “How is Jenny? I saw her fall off Leopold earlier.”
“She’s fine,” Judy said. “I think it bruised her ego more than anything else.”
Andy nodded. “How are the rest of the kids?”
“Tabby brought me the paperwork for her learner’s permit,” Judy said.
“What? She’s not old enough yet. Is she?” Andy asked.
“She is,” Judy said. “I know how you feel. Our baby is growing up so fast. Brian is enjoying his summer vacation, but we need to hose him off before we allow him back in the house.”
Andy laughed. “What about Jessie?
“She takes after you,” Judy said. “She spends all of her time in front of a screen tapping away at keyboards. Have you read one of her stories yet? They’re quite imaginative.”
“No. I have not,” Andy said. “But, I’ll have to make some time for it.” He took her hand in his and asked, “What about your sculpture?”
“It’s coming along. It’s still not quite there yet,” Judy said, “but I still have another four weeks to work it all out.” She got up while still holding his hand. “Come on. Let’s go have dinner.”
When Judy and Andy got to the kitchen, Tabby was at the stove stirring a pot, while Jessie was mixing a salad. Brian was setting the table and Jenny was helping. Judy joined Tabby at the stove and took over for her. A few minutes later dinner was ready, and they sat down to dinner and shared some light conversation.
After dinner, they retired to the living room, where they watched television together. Andy continued reading his novel, while Tabby got on her computer and chatted with some friends online. Jenny and Brian had not seen the film yet and were enthralled by it. Jesse continued working on a story. Judy had her sketch pad out and was coming up with some new designs for the next piece she would fabricate.
Andy found it difficult to concentrate on the story he was reading. His mind kept wandering back to the wads of paper. Looking back at it now, he wondered if any of it had actually happened. He doubted it. It had to be his mind’s way of dealing with the stress and frustration of not being able to write. He had not had another incident since he left the office and started relaxing. Tomorrow, Andy should be ready to hit the ground running on his new novel.
After the film, Judy put Jenny and Brian to bed. An hour later, it was Jessie’s turn. Tabby stayed up a little longer after that. Judy and Andy locked up the house and went to bed once all of their children were snug in their beds.