WRITING WITH DAN - Sara Edi Boyd
Dan comes over on Wednesdays. We work on our screenplays from 1:00-4:00. Barry and Dan are close friends and Barry steps in the Workshop to talk baseball with Dan for a few minutes every week. Sometimes during the season, they go to the DASH games together, drink beer and talk baseball strategy. Dan has just become a volunteer assistant coach to one of the prep schools in town, and Barry is overwrought with jealousy. Being weekly out on a baseball field, and batting cage with boys looking up to you for advice and tips, is something Barry has just so naturally done in years past when his sons were growing up. Raising his own three boys, who are all grown and gone now, would be so much fun for him again.
I don’t understand anything about this pull. This need to share in this way. Dan said last week during practice, he threw over 300 pitches in one day, and 150 the next. Who can do this? Despite suffering all over stiffness and muscle aches, he said he just loved it. Interacting with the boys who are so earnest, trying so hard to learn and perform. I watch Dan talk about it, with wonder. His eyes sparkle with the memory. Dan, like Barry has raised his children. And still.
I am too selfish, introverted, too comfortable in my art space where I spend my days. Moving from pottery, to sewing sketch books, making paintbrushes, and, just started watercolor. I could not commit to that much commitment to others. My mind is filled with trying out the new forms, with new glazes I have created. Trying new firing schedules. And, spending time interacting with my sons Drew and Parker. Drew and I interact several times a day. Sometimes about his work at the Naval Weapons Station galley kitchen, sometimes with his neuro rehab team, or medical team, or coordinating his finances with his dad. I find I spend a fair proportion of my day with and about Drew, who is still in recovery from his brain injury from his cardiac arrest in 2015.
His brother Parker, has started a real estate company in Charleston. He is over busy all the time. Our moments to chat casually are so fleeting, but so precious to us both.
My son, Rob who lives in Boston, doesn’t speak to the rest of us. We are not actually clear on why.
But, between Drew, Parker, Barry and mamma (age 94), I find myself immersed in my Workshop. Happily so. Then, I head in around 4:30 or so, to fearlessly begin sorting out supper. I’ve decided I want to learn to make pizza dough as the type we had in Italy. True handmade dough that you have to rest, rise, and let cure for 24 hours. But, in the end, has those huge bubbles in the crust. Everyday I decision what I want to cook for supper. Text Barry the grocery list. He delivers every item in the kitchen for me before I get there. Its not my normal way to plan something that takes two days to prepare. But, my neighbor Matt ordered flour from Italy, specific to pizza dough, and gave a whole bunch of it to me. Flour that is so light and fluffy, it feels like a whisper between your fingers. So, I will begin the process to make us pizza. I honestly can’t wait.
Each week, Dan and I talk for a few minutes before we begin writing. No music. We let Jubal come in, fluff himself on the back of the sofa, as high in the room as he can get, and he goes to sleep. After all these years of just dry dog food, beginning Jan 1 of this year, Barry decided to mix his Dog Chow with some canned food. And, I have my doubts about it all. Yesterday, Barry took Jubal for his daily walkabout, sniffing all the good smells around the big block that is his territory, then fed Jubal his supper. Afterwards, Jubal hopped on the sofa, across from the fire in the fireplace, and fell so hard asleep, I told Barry I was suspecting there were dog drugs in the canned food. That Jubal looked like a teenage boy who just ate a big supper after football practice, and had crashed.
But, if Dan and I don’t let Jubal in the Workshop while we are out there writing, he will stand at the door whining so pitifully, there’s no chance we could get any work done. Its funny. Jubal never does this when its just me in there alone working. And, its the same for me I guess. I can never write if Dan’s not in the red leather chair, across the room from me on the sofa. Just something about Dan I guess. My writing partner. When he begins packing up, always a sad moment for Jubes and me, a bit early today to go visit his mamma at Vienna Village. So I will go for a walk with Barry, and head to the kitchen, to start my first honest-to-goodness homemade Italian Pizza. Basil from the plant in my kitchen window. Fearless in the kitchen.
Sara Edi Boyd is a mother, potter, and landscape architect. She cooks and makes framed botanicals. She lives with her husband in Winston Salem, and spend her days in the backyard Workshop.