In my last blog post I wrote about Bill and his homemade pens. I thought I was done with the off-vacation topic. After all, there is only so much to write about a man and his pens, pretty as they are. I was wrong!
Now my readers want to know more about Bill’s pens–where to find them and, if money can buy happiness, buy them? As if to help me address those inquiries, Bill, pens in his pocket as usual, a notebook and several papers in his hand as usual, appears at my poetry workshop—which is unusual, something Bill never did, or shall I be more specific, hasn’t done.
He shows me his teeth when we meet–he grins.
“I like your post,” he says, perhaps to explain why he bares his fangs on me.
Ah, I reckons, pleased. Bill knows how to get to me. “So do you sell them pens?” I ask.
“I give them out as gifts,” he says to my astonishment. He really knows how to be a gentleman and a fast-moving one! But he hasn’t finished speaking. “I’m making them to give out at my next reunion.”
“Can I come?” I almost burst out, eyeing his pocket. But of course I’m too well raised to ask such a question, and not too callous enough to put Bill into a tight corner between a woman, young enough, and a fellow writer, daring and desperate enough to make her blog quota. I swallow hard and snuff my pen-desire.
Bill flashes his set of enamel again.
“You aren’t the only one approaching me,” his eyes twinkle, his newly regrown beard trembling with pride, obviously flattered.
“I attract people on the street now,” he confides, pauses, then…as if deciding to come clean with himself, adds, “with my pens.”
Ah, with his pens! It makes sense, because for a split second I think he refers to his beard, which he’s been sporting for a few months now like he used to when he was a hippie with a ring in his ear and a finger hooked to his Jeans pocket, below the wide leather belt with a brass buckle, striking a pose with his lean, mean machine like John Wayne, strutting, his shoulder-length blond hair tied in a ponytail—very alluring without the help of pens.
Our workshop leader delicately put an end to Bill’s ego self-stroking with a gentle reminder, “So glad you finally decide to join us.”
Bill looks at her from above the silver rims that encircle his grayish gaze. The twinkles have disappeared from the depth of his Irish soul.
“I come to observe,” he rumbles, emphasizing, “as a member-at-large. To bring back a report to the Board.”
I can see the future as he says those words. I see him pulling out one of his crafty pens, click the gun barrel, and write out in long hand: A Bards Report to the WCW Board.