She says, cracking herself up in her car seat in the backseat, while her dadda drives and I hand her pieces of blueberry muffin. A berry, banana and yogurt smoothie sits wedged between her legs. "Come on guys!" she says again, laughing so hard it sounds as if she's being tickled. I said the phrase a couple days ago. It was my impression of our dog, who was sitting at the top of our basement stairs, looking down at us, waiting for us to follow and open the door so that she could get to her bowl of water. "Come on guys." I said in my best, most gruff doggy impression. She repeated me then, but we haven't said it since. Then this morning, out of nowhere, while sitting backwards and munching on muffin and sipping her smoothie, my 21-month-old daughter recalls my joke that made her laugh the first time she heard it and she says it again and again. "Come on guys! Penny. 'Stairs! COME ON GUYS!" Her squeals work like high-pitched punctuation marks as we all laugh and laugh in this forgettable moment I so badly don't want to forget.
For months now, I have been hiding inside my own inventions; stories I've created out of adjectives and actions. In my spare seconds, I rush to the computer or to a pencil and paper and write my tales from the depths of my wandering/troubling/vigorous imagination. I've been now on several journeys. After I surface from a story, I worry whether my work of words is embarrassingly trite, but I keep writing because I feel compelled to keep writing and because I know that if every creator quit because she couldn't overcome her fear of failure, we'd all live in societies where only the narcissists and the lunatics felt bold enough to speak. So if you've been looking for me here, I apologize for my absence.