by Janis Patterson
When will I ever learn? I really don’t mean to upset people… most of the time, at least. But sometimes…
Yesterday I had my legs waxed. (No gratuitous ewwww factor here – there is a point to this.) Getting waxed is a rare treat for me, which I’ve only had done a couple of times in my life. The Husband thought I needed a pick-me-up after we survived being in the center of the Great Dallas Hailstorm. It really didn’t have anything to do with the fact that my legs had reached a point where I could have made a choice between waxing or French braiding… I went to a local salon and was asked if I minded having the newly hired operator do me. Fine… I didn’t know anyone there anyhow.
I was in a tiny room lying on a hard narrow board that must have had at least two layers of tissue for padding, and this very nice young woman was spreading this warm, dark blue goo on my leg. Apparently this is the latest thing in wax – and brand new to me – where they don’t use strips. Instead they just let the wax dry to a certain state and peel it off. Very efficient.
As I had given them my business card for their file when I made the appointment apparently everyone there knew I was a writer, because every operator and front office person found some excuse to come in while I was lying there, uncomfortably stretched out on this oversized beam and my legs striped with dark blue goo. I felt almost as if I should have a sign beside me saying something like North American Writer, Genus Wordsmithicus, Habitat In Front of Computer Screen, Do Not Feed the Writer.
Okay, until then everything was fine. As always I was asking questions about the process and the training and the wax itself when An Idea hit. Without thinking I started mumbling to myself, bouncing ideas out into the air as I am accustomed to do with friends or family when An Idea appears. I concocted a tale of a witchy salon owner who is also shorting her girls their money and is sort of blackmailing some of her wealthy clients and whose estranged husband is having an affair with the head operator. This nasty woman is found in a treatment room after being murdered in a very appropriately nasty way with the wax – and this is my story, so hands off!
Anyway, I sort of snapped back to the moment when I realized that both my legs were cold and there hadn’t been any wax applied for a few minutes. Raising my head, I opened my eyes to see both my operator and her training person backed up against the far wall, their eyes and mouths wide. My operator even held a spreader stick loaded with heavy blue wax, which was slithering downward toward the floor like some form of avant garde sculpture. I smiled, and got two ghastly rictus-type smiles in return.
I didn’t want to leave with my legs half done, so I simply lay there and smiled some more, explaining that ideas were everywhere and I just grabbed them when they came, that all writers did in an attempt to keep them from vanishing back into the ether. Finally the operators’ smiles became more normal and they went to work on my legs again, but much faster than before. I was finished and out in just minutes. It was a good job, and I will go back if allowed, but you can believe I will keep any possible brainstorms to myself!
Those of you who have followed my sporadic blog posts realize I really do believe that ideas are everywhere and all we have to do is keep our minds open to them. What I must remember is that not everyone is a writer, and not everyone appreciates the labyrinthine and sometimes startling thought processes by which a writer creates stories.
I must keep my mouth shut.
I will keep my mouth shut.
Or maybe next time I will just opt for French braids.
PS – Don’t forget that TIMELESS INNOCENTS from Carina Press is still on sale for only 99 cents until the end of June!