Mosquitoland by David Arnold


(…I mean, pretty soon we’re going to have gum-blowing girls offering free cigarettes to underage kids on every street corner in ‘merica, and I would like to state for the record, I am not okay with this.)

It is so quiet in my head. I hear crickets, dear reader. Crickets and birds that sing at dusk. That’s what I’ve got in my head.

I’m in Maine. B and I are on a writing retreat, in the truest sense of the phrase. We have retreated, from the real world, to write.

Why, you might ask, do I need to drive 2.5 hours to a rented house just to put some words on a screen? Because. At home, I never hear any crickets, except the ones in Bill’s cricket container. And that’s not a peaceful sound. That sounds means something in my house will soon need to be fed. Here in this house in Maine, the crickets are fully independent from me. The crickets would chirp whether or not I was here to listen. And that is a wonderful freedom.

This house has ten bookshelves (b counted) and probably a thousand books. It’s our kind of house. There are four beds. A stove that requires matches. A caretaker who mowed the lawn and fixed the Internet. Artwork on the walls that I would gladly put on my walls. Did I mention the books? If I hadn’t brought any of the six I packed, I would have still had plenty of quality literature to choose from.

I have set for myself ridiculous goals, but ridiculous goals work well for me. And just having those ridiculous goals makes me feel less guilty about leaving poor M with what amounts to two full-time jobs this week: the one that pays money and the one that costs money. Computers and kids. Dear man. I hope he knows how much I appreciate this.

Also, I forgot my camera, so I give you a pic of three boys who no longer look like that. This was not even a year ago. And this is partly why I set ridiculous goals. Because time keeps speeding up.

I’m going to go write now.

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