Word for the Day: Wait

“Just you wait” from My Fair Lady.”

The word “wait” is a very loaded word. We wait here; we wait there; we wait everywhere. We begin our lives waiting. Nine months or less. And we believe that once that wait is over, no more waiting on our agenda. Little do we realize the waiting has only just begun. It has been estimated that we humans spend five years of our lives waiting if we live to be 79 years old.

Initially we wait for our parents to change our dirty diapers and give us a bottle. And we let them know that we are not appreciative when they make us wait. Too bad we can’t use that strategy for later on in life when we’re waiting in line at an amusement ride.

We wait on the school bus. We wait for Santa Claus to show up at our house. We spend weeks waiting on that video game we just have to have. We wait on our friends to show up at the park so we can play baseball.

As we grow into our teen years, we wait on that guy to ask us to the prom. Or that girl to give us the “Yes, I will go with you.” Later we will wait on that engagement ring or the girl to answer our plea to marry us.

As adults, we wait on the food to come at the restaurant. Or the line at the movie theater. Or the ride at the amusement park. Or we wait for the doctor to let us know we’re a-okay. And down the road we wait on retirement.

We wait on the fish to bite. We wait on the light to change. We wait for our paychecks. We wait for a response to that resume’ we sent. If we’ve been bad, we wait for that ‘get-out-of-jail” card. Or we might have to wait on a Supreme Court ruling. If we are Christians, we wait on the Rapture.

We get put on a wait-list or waiting list. A member of the wait-staff, a waiter, also known as a wait-person, asks us what we wish to order. Our computer spends time in a wait-state when we’re transferring data. The doctor makes us sit in the waiting room. For an actor, it’s the green room. But that’s a word of a different color.

When you ask your mom for a new toy, Mom may just give you that old “wait and see.” And you may have to “wait up” for your partner to get home and tell you the good news. Of course, you may have to “wait for that other shoe to drop.” And some of us may find ourselves “waiting on them hand and foot.”

That “wait” can be a threat. As in “Just you wait, ‘enry Higgins.”

Or it can be “wait” can be a warning like “We have to wait for the hurricane.”

Or it can be a Promise, such as “Just a little more wait and Santa will be here.”

When we entering a waiting state, we know a ton of bricks is coming. That ton of bricks may be something significant like being born. Or insignificant like we have scheduled a plumber to fix the drain.

All this waiting has sidekicks joining it. They are the Hope of Expectation or the Fear of Anticipation. With Anticipation, we find ourselves Anxious. If we’re not careful, pretty soon we’re experiencing an Anxiety attack. If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves having a nervous breakdown. 

Or not.

Who knows? With a little Patience the waiting will soon be over. We might as well accept it. After all, it’s a waiting game.

Near 500 Words: TW starts a novel

Episode 3 of The Writer.

TW (aka The Writer) was a short story man. Over the years, he had written short stories. And not of one genre. There were science fictions, romances, mysteries, literaries. He had written flash fiction. He had written long stories. He had written novellas. But nary a novel. Novels scared TW.

And not just scared. I’m talking white knuckle fear. It was the kind of fear some actors experience before they go on stage. And more.

TW had read all the books on stage fright. There were three. Almost as many as there were on writer’s block.

Recently he had decided that he was determined to take this psychosis head on. It was time to lay some happiness on himself. Since he was a kid knee high to a grasshopper, he had believed only a novel would fulfill him as a writer. Here he was fifty-three years old and still no novel.

To put him in the right mood, he re-read his two favorite novels by his two favorite writers: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

Now it was time to write that novel. Today was the the day. It was Saturday. His day off. At eight a.m. his eyes popped open. But it was from the anticipation of writing the novel. Cat was letting him know that it was feeding time.

He wiped any leftover sleep from of his eyes. He pulled himself out of bed. And fed Cat. Then he let her outside.

It was a beautiful day. The air was cool and the sun shined. Flowers were blooming. A bird or two scooped through through the water of the birdbath and refreshed themselves.

It seemed like a perfect day to enjoy the outside.

Start the novel. Start the novel. Start the novel.

TW swore, “Okay, okay.”

After an hour of running around in the yard, chasing lizards, rolling in the dirt, chewing on the grass, Cat came to the back door and patiently waited for it to be open. Either she was ready for her treat or she had to litter the litter box.

He opened the door. It was the litter box. Then the treat.

So now it was breakfast time, then his writing session. After an omelet, he looked at the dishes stacked in the sink. I should wash them.

He reached over for the sink faucet.

Hold on, you have a novel to write.

“But what about the dishes?”

The dishes can wait.

He went into the bathroom and brushed his teeth and washed his face. Then he realized he didn’t have anything to wear for work on Monday.

Write the novel.

“But it’s only ten o’clock. I’ve got time.”

Write the novel.

From the kitchen came a meowing.

“I’d better let Cat out.”

She’s already been out. Write the novel.

TW took his seat at the desk and booted his computer up.

The doorbell rang.

Ignore it. Write the novel.

“But–”

Write the novel.

He looked at the clock. How did it get to be eleven o’clock?

Write.

“Okay, okay.”

TW looked at his computer screen and opened his browser to check his email.

Write the novel.

He gave his conscience three okays, then opened a blank document on his word processor. He saved the document and named it “My Novel.”

He looked at the blank screen. He thought and thought and thought and nothing came. He’d always been a seat-of-the-pant when it came to short stories and poetry. And he always had ideas up the wazoo. But today, the first day of writing his novel, his mind went blank.

He finished his first cup of coffee, then a second, then a third. Then he started getting desperate. The document was still blank. Very blank.

About the time he was going to give up, he typed, “This is the first chapter. And there will be a lot more from where that came from. Monkey looked at Shark and fired his gun. The bullet hit its target, Shark’s heart.”

“There. Are you satisfied?”