Wanted to Write a Story All day I wanted to write a story.

I woke up this morning and the little clouds of dream stories were sucked up by the vacuum cleaner of light. I went downstairs and tried not to eat the hominy Lee was cooking on the stove and I thought, "Soon it will be story time." I failed at not eating the hominy, but realized that the ketchup and hominy atoms would soon turn into little story-making atoms, so I didn't feel too bad about failing at that. I stared at my pet walking sticks who I hoped believed they were still in a jungle in Vietnam because of the big pieces of Romaine lettuce I had draped over sticks in their aquarium. They were acting very convincingly like sticks and I thought about how soon I would write a story and maybe it would include walking sticks. The walking sticks looked at me dubiously. The cat followed me around the house as though he were waiting for a story like a greasy little squab to fall out of my mouth. Clearly, a story was expected and soon a story would be delivered. Then I saw the wine glass and the big screen t.v. It is a Sunday, after all, I told myself, so a story is best basted in the subconscious before it emerges, basted like a mental chicken, right? So while I'm basting I'll just watch a little of one of these nifty movies that arrived in the mailbox yesterday. The movie was about a dollmaker who had her tongue cut out by evil townspeople and now returned from beyond the grave to torture their descendents with annoying creepy little homicidal dolls. This is the sponge that began soaking up all the atoms of storytelling the hominy had given me. Well, the movie ended and then it was time to do some gardening. It was one of the rare cool days this month so I figured I had better tend to the withering hydrangeas, and nourish the tomatoes which were coming along nicely. I figured do the Japanese thing, the Albert Einstein thing. Remember how Einstein said all his best ideas in physics came along while he was shaving in the morning. In other words, do something else and it will come to you, what you really want. What came to me were insects. Admittedly, some of them were quite loving, but it just wasn't the same as a story flying to me on acid-free paper wings. Soon the new non-storytelling idea was a barbecue, which sounded like a splendid idea, so that is what we did. We barbecued chicken, baked potatoes, boiled corn on the cob, had some nice King's Hawaiian honey wheat rolls and then more alcohol to really get into that sedentary, evening storytelling mode. Before I knew it, I was falling asleep watching Strangers with Candy, watching Amy Sedaris's face turn into a beautiful black O'Keefe flower the size of the universe and filled with oh-so-lovely air conditioning. When I awoke, I just had the dismal thought, "Start watching the clock. It's Sunday night,

but Monday morning waits to burrow in me deeper than that rodent did in in an urban legend starring Richard Gere...yes, Monday waits like a rabid gerbil who just ate some speed a nineteen year old college freshman dropped on the quad. Yes, the gerbil Monday sits surveilling me right now, hidden in some collegiate bushes just waiting to scurry up my leg and enter my Own Private Habitrail of digestion as a sick-in-my-gut-it's now Monday morning kind of feeling." This impending gerbil attack feeling is not a feeling conducive to storytelling. Neither Chekhov nor Hemingway would have gotten far with an "impending gerbil attack" feeling messing with their cerebro-spinal fluid when they sat down to write. Anticipating feelings leads to gnarly feelings. I suppose this is what is removed from people to make them Marines. So I did what any red-blooded wannabe storyteller would do on a rapidly shrinking Sunday night to dispel this feeling... I YouTubed and emailed and downloaded music from back in the days when I had no schedule in my life, when only my parents had schedules and I had weed to clean, which made me feel deceptively safe and comfortable. The cat went to sleep, no longer expecting a squab to thud on the carpet. The insects went somewhere else seeking a person who was more like a gingko tree than I am. The last of any quarks with a potential storytelling spin were used up trying to find XTC's Grass on the downloading site (unsuccessfully). Now I am getting ready to go to bed, and my brain is laughing at me saying, "You wanna see how to do stories? I got stories!" And I will dream a hundred stories which may or may not be any good, but thank God there's no Gene Shalit with a walrus mustache in our brains at night. And I will awake and reach my hand out to clutch just one story to save for you, but it will turn away in disgust the way the Sun shakes its hair each morning, does a hairflip with its hair made of light, and goes the other direction like Paris Hilton after she's gotten out of jail, and realizes she doesn't have to really do all those horrible, moral things she was promising to do when she had no cellphone, no alcohol and no Greek magnate rubbing her feet. It will drive off into the morning air, a free story, a bunch of beautiful neurons needing no one but the open road, and the wind in its laughing hair.