How’s your Book Coming, Julia?

“How’s your book coming, Julia?” he asks.

“OK,” I answer, “but I wish I didn’t have to write it. Wish I didn’t have to sit at the computer for years editing and correcting, changing and morphing the manuscript.

“You have to make these changes Julia. This must become a book and not something that happened to you,” my editor said.

“How about you write a one sentence book? Please don’t have sex with children,” my patient husband asks. “If I had one sentence to write a bumper sticker, it would be, ‘Please don’t hit children,” he offers.

“I’m sticking with sex,” I said.

I‘m at the beach and as I sit on the end of the pier, I wonder, not for the first time, who decides? Who gets eaten and who gets to eat? Watching in splendor, as a black headed baby gull swoops and swings before plunging straight into the sound for a small jumping mullet. She gulps and plows straight up again, as the water shudders in response to her feeding. I shudder too.

Who eats and who gets eaten? I ask but hear no answer as two egrets wade ankle deep, perusing the shallows. Bobbing and dipping their immediate response to some movement that remains unseen and secret. Further down, twelve ducks brood over small eddies, content to wade in low waters that cover their feet. Immobile, they neither hunt nor bob.

“How’s the book, Julia?” soaring overhead with their screeching calls, their pleas mocking.

“It’s coming,” I whisper after them. Silence your sneers, your doubts.

I’ll grapple with anyone who argues, who questions the veracity. My Record is True I shout after them as they fly overhead and away, heading to their roost in the trees. Can you hear me? My Record is True, I shout again. I would follow them, wading in the shallows to their nesting if only it would create this testimony.

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