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Life Arts    H4'ed 9/5/19

For my friend who called me

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My friend calls me from Hawaii.
He asks what I do for fun.
To buy time, I ask him what he does for fun.
He draws on the beach.
He draws with a stick.
The beach is a giant piece of paper.
It is a hundred feet long.
The ocean is his eraser.
He dances as he draws.
He shows up at the library for story hour.
He brings a stuffed bear with him.
The bear asks the story-teller questions.
The bear's questions are from the bear's perspective.
The children find it funny.
He accompanies a man to the pool.
The man can't walk by himself.
He says that it wasn't fun at first.
Now it is.
Now he repeats the question.
"What do you do for fun?"
He knows he's got me.
I'm squirming on the phone.
The truth is harsh.
I don't do anything for fun.
I suck at having fun.
He changes the question.
"When was the last time you had fun?"
I change the subject.
After we hang up I remember.
It was a month ago.
I was visiting my son in the Hudson Valley.
He took me to see a waterfall.
It was a hundred feet high.
He stood under it.
He modeled how to have fun for me.
I stood under it after him.
I made a spontaneous unintelligible sound.
It was the sound of having fun.
I will send this to my friend in Hawaii.
I think he will enjoy knowing that I had fun.

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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