Tuesday, December 01, 2020

There Was One

I said there were no carefree moments during this pandemic, but I did have one. 

The Friday before Eli 19.3 came back for Thanksgiving, he called me. I was surprised, because we'd talked on the phone the night before. 

"Dad, I have some time, and I want to work on the book.," he said. 

Not my book. Not The Man You Trust.

What he was talking about was a children's book we discussed last summer. 

One day, I got a word in my head, a combination of two words that overlapped, and it was a funny word. The word itself suggested a story. 

I told Eli about this, and we talked about what this story would look like. 

In the end, we had come up with a very strong opening scene, and a very strong ending scene, and not much in-between except a general notion about a story. 

I told him that we should just remember what we'd done and let it sit for a while. Which we did. 

I hadn't thought about it in months until he called, but once we started talking, everything happened all at once. Over the course of about thirty minutes, we designed an entire plot together. 

It was the greatest phone call of my life

It wasn't the plot that made it great, although the plot is very funny. What made it great was the way we were bouncing ideas off each other. One of us would start something and the other one would get a better idea from it, and we just kept going back and forth until everything fit.

It was the most creative thirty minutes of my life. Eli's, too. And the fact that we were doing it together was joyous. 

"What just happened?" he asked, laughing, when we were done. 

"I think we just plotted an entire book," I said. "In half an hour."

"This is the kind of thing we do," he said. 

It is the kind of thing we do. In so many ways.

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