Five Hours of Sleep in Forty Hours

After two and a half hours of Eve’s Night Out, and a crowd of thirty women, Vic and I ride to her home just outside of BigCity, NC along the Blue Ridge Parkway just because. It is not the fastest way by any means but we’ve been waiting for weeks to catch up and are in no rush to get home. A thin haze of orange hovers over the city from the Parkway view, each light as small as an ant and even smaller still in relation to the silhouetted mountains in the background. Which makes the car we’re in perhaps the beast of the insect world, slithering along the mountain tops at an admirable pace, headlight eyes lit up like a wasp’s.

Immediately we talk shop: What does creative liscence allow us? How far can a writer go? And what about all that fray about James Frey anyway? We discuss “I” centered nonfiction, culture focused fiction, and how the wrong reading voice can ruin a poem any day. We discover that we’ve both been accepted into anthologies and also talked our way out of them accidentally, though perhaps for the better in the end. There is immediate agreement, with the sort of efficiency that only women’s friendships allow without hesitation: Get home, start laundry, do our things, coffee in the morning, chocolate after tomorrow’s full day of meditation. Then at night, sunset view on the porch and wine. Perhaps some goat cheese and rye crackers. And we will read stories to each other.

When we actually walk in the door, it pretty much goes as planned. But I hem and haw in the kitchen, poking goat cheese in Vic’s facing and enticing her to try it now. I whimper and look at the clock. She knows I’m putting of the writing. Writers who are friends know all the tricks we play on ourselves – all the different ways we might talk ourselves out of something or dampen our own creative senses. She knows I’m putting of the writing, which is enough to get my butt in the chair and just do it.

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