“So—yes—you’re doing better?”
And from a person I’m so used to hearing emit a staticky vocal fry on YouTube, Jessi is absolutely crystal.
“My husband says he doesn’t recognize me,” she beams.
She has dark brown eyes and as-dark hair, and whereas she usually poses for photographs with an open-mouthed smile, she this time just smiles. (Still, there’s hint of the prankster).
Jessi and me—we’ve both had one hell of a year.
“My wife says the same thing. I wasn’t THIS person,” I say, tapping my chest, “Two weeks ago, if not two days ago. It just keeps getting better.”
The foyer scene is nice, everyone lounging before the next lunge into something. Panel in the Rhodes Room, impromptu podcast in 612, drinks at Drift.
At some point during the conversation, I turn over Jessi’s forearms to look at her black-inked tattoos. I’m getting one soon, monochromatic as well.
David Vienna pipes up: “I’ve been counting quills since I got here,” which is like counting de-feathered crows. He points to his quill buried in a field of orange, than Jessi’s quill isolate of color.
“We’re all writers—everyone’s got the quill.”
(Which is a good designation of devotion. For example, I know I’m at a good restaurant when both the front of the house and back sport knife tattoos. Not of the Rambo persuasion, with serrated edges and castaway skulls illustrated bloodily on down the bicep; but I mean a photorealistic representation of a nice Shun, or a Westhof, on the posterior flexors).
I’m getting a nautilus eventually, in illustration of the Golden Mean.
Mike Cruse just got a good quill this past year with an unfurled banner reading: ‘Your move, Chief.” The quote is from ‘Good Will Hunting’, Robin Williams’ Sean saying to Will, “You’re terrified of what you might say…Your move, Chief.”
The quill can be used to face off desperation, terror. It can either simply excise the demons, else sublimate them into winged things with shrinking horns.
It can have you write in the present tense to escape being presently tense.
The pen might not always be mightier than the sword. Since I spoke about knives earlier, which are relative to swords, Elliot Smith (of the ‘Good Will Hunting’ soundtrack) carved the word ‘NOW’ into his forearm before composing ‘Everything Means Nothing to Me’, a song he fairly lilted even while blood dripped on the piano keys. He turned a knife on himself eventually to forever end his quilling.
BUT, since I will not end this sadly—this post or anything—for me all these feathers and ink nibs immortalized in mortal skin hint at a craft that is meanwhile changing us while we change it. Try NOT to become something different at every turn in a sentence. A period never means full stop, ever.