Willie McBee


I slept in, 8:30, very late for me. I spent the rest of the morning creating an editorial/writing calendar. I work better with a planner. I put headphones on and filtered the world out. I accomplished my task creating a schedule that will carry me through December. I was pleased. I included Cultural Salad postings, the fledgling writing groups with which I am involved; I included my Sci-fi novel, the blog, and essays. I have allotted time once a week to copy and paste my student comments into a word document.

I shared lunch with my fellow writers and returned to my desk. We made guacamole, shrimp, salmon and roasted carrots. Good stuff.

I returned to my room and opened the sci-fi document and began editing it. I spent almost three hours writing. Focused, seeing outcomes in my head, having strong direction. This would be good! I worked for a close to two hours.

The desk faces a window. A bee buzzed outside the screen. Two buzzards floated in the up-draft, hanging in the air, still. The ever-present hum of the cicadas filled the space beyond my headphones. Jackson Browne was singing, I guess we’ll reach some understanding when we see what the future will bring. It was prophetic. Suddenly, the bee was inside the screen. Shit.

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“This can’t be good,” I said out loud. “Shit, shit, shit! How’d you get through the screen?”

It buzzed here and there along the screen, ignoring me.

“You can’t be in here; you have to go back the way you came. Go on now.”

It disregarded me completely and buzzed its way down the contour of the screen towards the block of wood holding the heavy window open.

“Well, shit, don’t do that I don’t want to kill you.” The song in my headphones began to editorialize, She stepped out in the alley with a single shot 410. The road goes on forever and the party never ends. “Fuck you!” I took the headphones off. “Come on, go back where you came from. Do it! Where the hell are my sneakers? If you come on to this side of the glass, I will have to kill you.” The science fiction was abandoned as I moved into self-preservation mode.

2013-05-22 16.02.44I was armed and ready with the Air retrieved from my backpack. I sat down and put my headphones back on. I was going to finish the prologue, damn it. The High Kings were singing, I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen when you joined the great fallen…

The bee buzzed, dancing to music it couldn’t hear.

How long do bees live? We need bees; I don’t want to kill a bee. Did ya leave a wife or sweetheart behind? In some faithful heart forever enshrined? … Shit! …Are you a stranger without even a name enclosed in forever behind a glass pane. Ok fine, Willie McBee, I will just ignore you.

It didn’t move.

Was it playing possum?

I slipped a piece of paper between the glass and screen and nudged it. Willie McBee had burrowed itself into the screen. It was stuck. Really Willie? You’re gonna do this? Guns N’ Roses, on cue, began to sing Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door…Mama take this badge from me I can’t use it anymore. It’s getting dark too dark to see feels like I’m knocking on heaven’s door.

I abandoned my room completely. I walked the property and took some pictures. I just knew that had I stayed the next song would be Tears in Heaven.2013-05-22 16.15.31

Willie McBee expired at 5:28pm just as the buzzards veered off to the west and beyond my view.

I’m sure there is some sort of cosmic message there. I’m sure of it, but as Elton John begins to sing Candle in the Wind, I think I would just rather put the whole thing behind me. Maybe I’ll write a poem, Ode to Willie McBee and then return to my novel.

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3 thoughts on “Willie McBee

  1. Isn’t it funny how once you name them, they are no longer nearly as scary? We had a series of spiders in Caitie’s room named Frederick, name it, it’s a pet, no need to squash it. problem solved, go back to sleep. Put the Sci-Fi on Dropbox when you feel it’s ready, I would LOVE to read it. Continue to have a great time!

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