Sunday, February 8, 2015


“Why would you go all the way to Seattle to write?”

Nosy border guard. If I had my choice, it would be Tuscany. Someday, I’ll be an odd reincarnation of Diane Lane in “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Writers do get restless. He’d never understand.

But then writing is not so much the focus this weekend. I could have told him the truth, but I went with my hunch and didn’t.

“Why would you go all the way to Seattle for a coffee date?”

Buzz off, dude! I might have said worse. And then I’d be banned from crossing. I’ve heard about this sort of thing happening. Canadians are supposed to be unwaveringly polite. When we’re not, it’s noteworthy. Drastic action is required. Hence, the ban.

No more writing in Washington. Or dating.

Nosy or not, I had to answer the border guard. He was new on his shift and I’d seen him lurking outside the booth, waiting to his predecessor to clear. I’m pretty sure I saw a gun. And so I explained that I’m writing a novel wherein coffee in a central component, almost a character. Seattle is research.

“Good luck,” he said, waving me on. Okay, maybe not so nosy, just curious. Looking for a way to spice up his shift, a mundane ordeal of ushering hordes of Canadian bargain shoppers through.

I’ll take the Good luck. And I’ll apply it to my writing—and, of course, to the undisclosed long-distance date. I’ll need it.

This is my third Seattle date in as many months. No repeats. To review, the first guy was geeky charming. We hit it off. The date went on for hours as we strolled quirky Fremont. After some back-and-forth messages the following week, he vanished. Maybe he was hit by a bus. Maybe my last “back” will finally get a “forth” when he comes out of his coma. I’ve seen Sandra Bullock in “While You Were Sleeping”. They do come back. And I know I can stay clear of the brother. My geeky guy’s family is in Michigan.

The second guy was the forty-one-year-old coming off a hangover. Graduated from university but never left the frat house. He needed the coffee far more than the conversation.

So, really, it is ludicrous to keep going back to Seattle. I do know that. In truth, I haven’t had a weekend excursion in a month and I’ve been looking for an excuse. If the date is another dead end, then there’s a chance to getting in some quality writing time.

The border guard will want a progress report.


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