Thursday, April 10, 2014

Last night.

I've been busy of late, running around and working on a variety of assignments at once. None of these are big paydays, but they come with their own lovely compensations. For one, I am miles away from the nearest conference room. Two, there's not a timesheet in sight. And third, well, maybe the first two are enough.

When I finally got home, I rested with a tall glass of seltzer from one of the old siphon spray bottles. I started about fifteen years ago getting these bottles delivered to my home and it was one of the best moves I ever made. It's delicious, effervescent and if you haven't had real seltzer from a siphon bottle, you just don't know what you're missing.

I sat myself down in my leather chair in my den and started going over some copy I had written. Since I was a kid in the business, I've always written copy fast, and then walked away from it as long as I could. When I double back, I find I usually like what I've written and with a few nips and tucks and tweaks and turns, it's ready to go.

Whiskey was asleep by my side. I had classical music on the radio and proper lighting. In all, it was the most comfortable work environment I've had since I worked as a cashier in a downtown Chicago liquor store 35 years ago.

Then, my cell rang, interrupting a soaring Callas aria.

"George," a plaintive blonde voice said. "I heard the news."

"Who is this?" The caller ID was blocked.

"It's Gwyneth. I was at a party with Tommy Lee Jones and he told me you weren't working. Is everything ok? Do you need any money."

"G," I said, "so nice of you to call. I'm doing fine. Not to worry. I'll be back on my size 12s in two shakes of a lamb's keister."

"We're all thinking of you. If there's anything I can do..." Somehow she had italicized the word I with her voice.

"I'm fine," I reassured. And she hung up.

In case you're wondering, like I said to Gwyneth, "I'm fine."

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