I live here. You haven’t seen me before ‘cause I don’t come here into town but once in a while. ‘Specially not when it’s crawlin’ with tourists.
OK, hi, Zanelle. I’m “Woody”. “Woody” Grover. I been retired here in Cambria for, well, years. I am an artist, a wood sculptor, well, not professionally (I was a carpenter) but now that I am retired I am an artist without anybody telling me otherwise. Well, I still make most my money doing carpentry and repairs for the antique shops and the furniture shop here in Cambria.
I live a ways up Santa Rosa creek. A cabin built by a marijuana grower back in the ‘70’s. My shop is the shed that he built to dry the marijuana. Yeah. I live alone.
No. Living alone is highly underrated. No one fucking tells me I’m wasting my time. ‘Scuse my Anglo-Saxon, Zanelle. Yeah, I was married. Once too many times. Spent all my time and money tryin’ just to shut her up.
You’re and artist, too? No shit. ‘Scuse my German. Painting and sculptures, too? You sell in town? Yeah, sure, I know where the vineyard is. I didn’t know they had a tack shed they were renting. Well, Ship-High-In-Transit if we aren’t a couple o’ wary critters, hey?
I’ll tell you what I’m working on right now. Damndest thing. I was up in the hills on a ridge and I saw an amazing wind-whipped Monterey pine sapling that had died. It was wind-sanded and bleached near a flesh tone. I swear it looked to me like a woman dancing and embracing the sky! Yeah, artists and crazy people, always seein’ and hearin’ things.
Anyway I danced it out of the rock outcropping and I carried her back to my shed shop, uh, studio, where I have been working to carve free that “woman” from the wood. I think it is my best sculpture yet. I want to do something different with it, too.
Ha, yeah. Some guys have their blow-up dolls. I got my carve-up doll. Ha, yeah, I guess I’m workin’ on company for myself after all! You’re funny, Zanelle.
Sure, why not. You can help me. This might be just the thing. I mean, a real artistic statement.
Now, what is so funny?
Ha, you got me, Zanelle. I do have a name for her. I named “her” Roberta. Yeah, I knew a Roberta. Love of my life when I was a teenager. She split my life like lightnin’ hitting a tree but if I could go back and never meet her I wouldn’t. It was worth just knowing her. If I had gotten my wish and we had gotten married she would’a probably left me anyway, so I’d feel the same as I do now.
Holy fuckin’ Jesus, Zanelle. ‘Scuse my Aramaic. That coat of latex on her brings her right to life, damn. It’s a little spooky. She looks alive. Like a Sleeping Beauty.
What you got there? Are those some kind of diamonds? Really? You found ‘em at the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek? Are they diamonds? Well I’ll be shitten, ‘scuse my Chaucer. Lightning does that to beach sand? Beautiful, beautiful.
Oh, yes! They will make perfect highlights in Roberta’s eyes. Let me. Oh, glory. Zanelle you are a genius. That smooth latex skin, that dramatic gesture, those eyes.
Oh, ho, ho, Zanelle. No, I do not feel like a perverted Geppetto.
Call her what? Rubberta? Ha, you are the pervert, Zanelle, ha, ha.
OK. We’ll let her “tan” overnight. Good work, fokken great work, Zanelle. ‘Scuse my Dutch.
What? Well, there is really only my bed and the floor. Well, Zanelle, ah, well, my cabin isn’t really set up for guests. I’ll, I can, I’ll drive you back to the vineyard, OK? Yes, ha-ha, I can be alone with Rubberta. Stop it.
Well, I hope Zanelle wasn’t really offended. I mean, that kind of thing just leads to trouble. Fuck, I’d rather have a friend right now. I don’t need any more “relationships”. Fuck no. Enough “relationships” for one miserable lifetime. Fuck…..
I need a shower.
Aww, that was good. I haven’t scrubbed out the crotch cheese in a week. Uhhh, the night’s warm. I don’t have to get dressed right away. Great thing about livin’ on your own. Invigorating.
Wow. Rubberta – dammit, Zanelle! – Roberta looks like a real person standing there in the twilight. Naked. Wow. Her “skin” has cured to a real semi-transparency. Zanelle, you are a genius for sure, I’ll give you that. The bleached pine under that semi-transparent latex is absolutely stunning. Real. Alive. Wow. It even feels like real skin. Her eyes gleam with that lightning quartz. Shimmering.
Uh-oh, fuck me; I’m sprouting my own bleached pine under latex. I guess it has been awhile. A long while…a long, long while. Huh. I wonder. No harm. I wonder, just wonder how her “skin” feels against…
Oh! Whoa! Ohh. Oh, gOhd. My pecker. Ohh. Ohhh. Ohhhh.
What the hell am I doing?!
Her eyes are shimmering. Oh, no, oh, God, I’m, I’m, I’m coming! My arms are flailing, my legs are shriveling, I’m flying away!
Well this is an odd dream.
I’m a woodpecker in an aviary. I’m in Zanelle’s living room! There are other aviaries. This is an odd development.
I am forgetting something. Something important I think. But now I am remembering.
I am a woodpecker in an aviary in Zanelle’s house. It is not so bad. She is a nice artist. Her work is like magic. I have lots of room. I have all the holes I want to peck. And Zanelle has the decency to cover my aviary when she has men over – and I do mean men over – like tonight here in awhile.
Knock on wood.
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But, the most ancient scrolls are kept on: THE TABLE OF MALCONTENTS