Why Write?

Dern good latte at Pablo's in Denver
Dern good latte at Pablo’s in Denver

Pam and I went to lunch. She picked me up around noon. The sun was out and we drove the back roads to Hill City and did not pass any other cars. There was a lot of snow on the ground but not on the road. She drives a big, heavy SUV which we parked in an ice patch a block away from the Alpine Inn, where she likes to lunch. The place was covered from wall to ceiling in fake garland and sparkly red bows. It was almost Christmas. It’s a German restaurant with German food but also Mexican options and the best dessert in America. We had salads and cold drinks and discussed travelling and her son’s possible new job and my possible coffee shop in Breckenridge.

I even ate the bread that came with the Cobb salad. It was warm and not that good but I ate it. I never eat bread. We ordered a pumpkin strudel to share. She ate the vanilla ice cream and whipped cream because I don’t eat dairy either. Even though that strudel was surely full of butter. It was flaky filo dough and had whole walnuts and a very thick, sweet, satisfying pumpkin filling. The plate had a generous caramel drizzle that I could have licked off. Pam left a lot of the caramel on her side.

Pam told me I was a talented writer and I said thank you. It’s hard to say if it’s true, but what is true is that I love the motion of putting words on paper, of typing letters on a screen, of telling something that feels important or beautiful or funny. I write because I want to believe I have something to say.

In a very clear childhood memory, I am trying to draw a unicorn. I believed very strongly that if I could picture the unicorn clear enough in the mind, that it would transfer to the paper. But every time I tried this approach, it never came together as the image in mind.

Writing is very much that way. I want to transfer the way I see the world onto the page, so that it can be shared and compared to how you see things. Because there is so much beauty about the world and the people in it and the way the moonlight hits the horizon that it must be shared.

As I drove to work this morning, the sunrise unclouded, as it easily could be, I’m reminded how lucky we are to live in a beautiful world surrounded by tall people in leggings, and warm, streamed milk and too many peanut M&Ms. Among the glasses that sit on your nose a little funny and dog kisses in the morning and a chance to work for myself. Among yellow chairs and tea in the afternoon and clouds that steam across the sky. Among a sunny day in January and friends just a phone call away and memories of swimming all morning in the ocean. Among soft pillows and heat on all night and walking through the snow on a cloudy afternoon. Among picnic tables and French pressed coffee and strangers who like to make conversation. Among shoes that fit right and brownies dusted with powdered sugar and a bright, white, hot moon on a cloudless night.

Somewhere between shiny pennies on the road and the time you stood next to me at Nathan’s ordering cold Coronas in a plaid shirt and sunglasses I fell deeply in love with this world. That love leaks out sometimes but mostly lives in my head and somehow, someday makes its way to a paragraph or a sentence or a story for you to read.

So let’s live our lives and then let’s tell all about it. About the jazz until late at a Mexican dive bar, about taking close ups of black dragon flies, about fast motorcycle rides in the woods at spring time. Tell about meeting fresh water surfers over breakfast in Michigan, about sixty degree Denver days in January, about getting lost at 2am on the dark streets of the Spanish countryside. Tell about ripping that first shot of espresso, about spotting a fox in the gutter, about getting a mysterious envelope via certified mail from a familiar name.

Tell all about your adventures and your dreams, your failures and your darkest places. Tell about the ones you’ve loved and the friends you’ve had and the coincidences that never stop coincidencing.

Tell me. Tell me. Tell me.

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