“The Time Has Come,” The Wall Man Said by Deb Jennifer

This past week, instead of writing, I’ve been dealing with contractors — the retaining wall beside our house has fallen in and our roof is leaking.   The guy building our new wall — and it is a beautiful wall — is fascinated with the fact that I’m a writer.   He says he wants to write a book.  Instead of working on my new book, I stand out in the cold and listen to the Wall Man tell me all about the book he would write if only he were a writer.  He tells me about the snow sculptures he makes to raise money for charity and how he once experienced a true miracle.

In addition to spending a great deal of what little free time I have with the Wall Man and holding the ladder for the roofer (it was that or call the fire department, he said), I’ve been taking my mother, my daughter and our dog, who has some sort of hideously itchy skin condition, to doctor’s appointments.  And what else have I spent my time on?  Working on Halloween costumes.  Going to playdates, playgroups and storytime.  Drinking far too much coffee.  Watching Dexter on Showtime.  Fighting off the urge to take up smoking cigarettes again.  Making a leaf collage.  Trying to find crayons that aren’t broken.  Sewing dislodged flowers back onto the dress of Hello Kitty.  Drinking more coffee.  Losing hours of time at MySpace.  Raking leaves.  Watching more fall.  Raking again.  Trying to find the perfect pumpkin.   Wondering if I have ADD.  Wondering if anyone other than family and friends are going to buy my book.  Wondering if I’ll ever finish my next book.  Drinking more coffee.  Making beads out of potatoes.  Making potato prints.  Thinking that maybe I am a little too obsessed with potatoes.  Googling potatoes.  Googling obsession.  Trying to figure out which fuse has blown when the power in the kitchen goes out and, horror of horrors, my coffee pot stops mid-brew!

The truth is I am a very flighty person.  My life is full of half-finished projects.  My memory is terrible.   If you send me to the grocery store with a list of three items, I will completely forget what they are by the time I get there if it’s not written down.  I will come back with mangoes and seltzer and a story about a woman I met in the bread aisle who once sent a poem to Neil Diamond.  It’s a wonder I get anything done at all, and to me, a complete miracle that I am able to write an entire novel.  Which reminds me, I’ve gotta get back to work on that new book.  But first, a little more coffee, and what the hell, maybe I’ll go out and see if the Wall Man wants a cup…

7 thoughts on ““The Time Has Come,” The Wall Man Said by Deb Jennifer

  1. I love potato prints. I think that’s a great way to spend some time! Potato beads … you’ll have to post the instructions for that one. Save up your advance and get one of those crayon molds to make new crayons from broken ones … hmmm, I have a feeling we spend our non-writing time in much of the same way …

    I want to know what Wall Man’s miracle was …

  2. I’m also in to hear the wall man’s story. I think writers by nature are a bit ADD. I tell myself it is all fuel for the creative fire.

  3. A crayon mold! Why haven’t I heard of this wonderful invention? Potato beads are fun and easy — you just cut up a potato into tiny chunks, stab the pieces onto wooden skewers, and let them dry for a week. They get hard and stone-like. Then you paint them.

    The Wall Man’s miracle: Last year, just before Christmas, we had a terrible fire here in town. Two young children were killed. The Wall Man decided to make a huge snow sculpture and invite people to come see it and leave a contribution for the surviving family members. A local radio station teamed up with him and it got lots of publicity. The thing is, it was too cold to sculpt the snow. It was light and powdery. He tried spraying water on it, but the water just froze. He tried heating it up. Nothing worked. Less than 24 hours before people were supposed to arrive in his yard, he just sat in the snow with tears in his eyes. He looked up at the sky, thought of that poor family who’d lost everything. He went to bed feeling like a total failure, then woke up at four in the morning to discover the temperature had shot up. The snow was perfect. He worked the entire day sculpting Santa, his sleigh and reindeer and finished spraying all the colors on just before people began to arrive. He made a bunch of money for the family and is now a firm believer in miracles. He’s a pretty amazing guy. Sadly, they just finished our wall so he’s gone today. I kind of miss him…

  4. Awww…that’s a great story! I’m not so sure about the whole potato beads idea (I’m of the belief that carbohydrates NEVER = jewelry) but it sounds like life is pretty fun in your neck of the woods!

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