The Writer's Cramp anniversary convention just may save a soul.
| ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
Word Count: 975
"Henry! You're never going to believe this," I exclaimed, jumping up and down. "Henry? Did you hear me?" I wheeled around and caught a glimpse of Henry's right heel as it followed the rest of his body out the door. "Henry?" my voice croaked. "Oh, Henry . . . "
After joining Writing.com about six months ago my life changed. I began to think again, to dream again, to be excited again - even with little things. Henry, unfortunately, had not changed. He seemed to enjoy me more when I was miserable, glumly viewing the world through a straw. A kid's straw. When Henry was with me, we used two straws, he with his and me with mine. Sitting side-by-side, we each peered with one eye at a spec of life too small to be distinguishable from any other spec. And regardless of which way we moved our straws, we were never able to see anything other than tiny specs of larger pictures we had no intention of considering.
I picked up my phone and jabbed Henry's picture. Just before the call headed to voicemail, Henry picked up. "Hello," Henry moaned.
"Henry, you better get those shoes walking straight back over here or I will never speak to you again!" I blurted. "Never! DO YOU HEAR ME???" I was missing the old telephones right then. I could stab the red spot on my cell, but no matter how badly I hurt my finger, it would never have the dramatic flair of a handset being slammed into a base about a thousand times. My head was pounding, and I felt like the top was going to blow off, like a volcano that cannot be silenced. My face was hot, and red, and I moved into the kitchen, grabbing open the freezer door hoping a blast of cold air would help shove my blood pressure back down. Knock . . . knock . . . knock. Even his knocks had no energy. No pep, no excitement! HOW had I spent the last two years with this guy?
I opened the door and there he was, shoulders stooped and eyes downcast. "Come in, Henry," I ordered, moving aside. Henry slowly made his way to the couch. I purposely placed myself across from him, in my reading chair.
"Henry, we need talk," I began. His head drooped even further. "HENRY! LOOK AT ME!" I screamed. His shoulders still sagged as his head began to rise. I could tell he was bracing himself for the "it's over" talk. "Henry," I said, softening my voice. "I've changed a lot since joining WdC, and I know you know that. I'm happier, more energetic, I'm enjoying myself again. That's a good thing . . . but you don't seem to appreciate my happiness.
"Before you left a little while ago, I was going to share some great news, news I hoped you would also enjoy. But as usual, you just had to rip a hole in that dark cloud hanging over you, to rain on my parade. Well, I have news for you: it's not going to work. Not this time. You know how excited I get when I see there's an email waiting for me on the WdC site - and then, when it's not a review, I feel lousy. Well, today I found an invitation! It's an invitation to the 20th Anniversary of The Writer's Cramp, my favorite forum, and they're holding a convention in a few weeks, in Dallas." Henry wore the same 'ol drab face.
"Don't you get it?" I asked. "Everyone who's anyone will be there, AND THEY INVITED ME! it's being held right here in Texas, so I can drive. This is a chance to meet so many people I talk to through emails and reviews and, best of all, the Cramp's judges will all be there! They're bigtime celebrities, and I'll be able to meet them in person.
"Bob'n Around will be there and I bet he wears a yellow shirt. When I first saw his handle, the image that came to mind was a fishing bobber, red, white and round. After reading more of his work, though, I can see him bobbin' and weavin' through the crowd, smiling and shaking hands with all his fans.
"Then there's Hullabaloo22. You know he's got to be an Aggie! Who else has even heard the word, hullabaloo? I see him in a maroon shirt, of course.
"HOOves will be wearing purple and she may have purple hair too, like that cow on the Experian commercials. I wonder if she skydives.
"Then there's Bianca and L_P. I haven't seen enough about them to know much, but I'm betting Bianca will be dressed in a red satin dress, wearing castanets on her fingers. L_P will be decked out in all black, like a record album.
"Robert Waltz and his wife, Tessa Tango will dance the night away, intimidating the rest of us. Finally, Sophy will be wearing a big, fluffy white dress like Glenda, the good witch. She's always so nice and helpful."
As I spoke, I noticed Henry's frown began to crack. His face seemed more relaxed and as I was describing the Cramp's judges, I actually thought he might be interested. "So, here's the deal," I continued, "I'm going to that convention, and I would love you to come with me," I declared. "But . . ."
Henry raised his hand. "Don't say another word," he said. "I'm going with you."
"You are?" I questioned, raising my left eyebrow, the old skepticism creeping into my head.
"I am," Henry responded. "Your attitude, your whole life, really, has changed and I've been jealous, watching you.
"Yes," he continued. "I'm going with you. Maybe when I meet Glenda . . . er, Sophy, she will use some of that magic on me."