Someday I want to write an actual novel. People used to ask if I’d write about being a Principal, as I seem to have a plethora of stories of students, families and staff; some comical, others tragic and sad. However, turning on any news station provides you with more than enough insight into what educators see evolve in their classrooms daily- I think my novel should be more along the lines of creating the imaginary lives I design for strangers I come across daily. As we are facing people on this journey from every walk of life- I often entertain myself with a running dialogue of their worlds. Other times I have an actual dialogue going on, as I have really become addicted to digital books- in this case- Audible. I find listening to a book while I work out keeps my head focused on the story and not on my body telling me it’s ready to be done. I often have on a wireless headset as I cook, while we set up or break down the RV and when I have no interest in a TV show that Keith’s chosen. It has become a great way to avoid salespeople chatting me up in a store, makes grocery shopping more entertaining and walking the dog early, just fun.
As I am typing, we are traveling, taking two days to stop by The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, in route to our destination Casa Grande and likely ten plus hours in the truck. This means I have on a book- playing with one speaker in my ear so Keith can chat me up or I may check an exit for him. It’s like having a surreptitious world going on in my head, while I politely acknowledge a pretty mountain range he is pointing out, open a water bottle for him or recognize his annoyance at some else’s bad driving. And it amusingly reminds me that there are moments when I’m listening to something steamy, hearing clearly as a lusty biker licks the very willing stranded lady motorist from head to toe while I’m participating in Keith’s debate about how much air should be in the tires- an audible book keeps you in an imaginary world that is secretly all yours. Other moments, I am listening to Amy Poehler and I break out laughing loudly while waiting in a long WalMart line or I start to cry while picking up dog shit as the Protagonist in a Hildebrand novel is finally cancer free. At times it’s easy to get caught up and to forget you are covertly in two places at once, but I love the company of the colorful fictional characters. Someday I’m going to put my ideas together and create worlds in which others can disappear. In the meantime, I’m going to go back to my earphone to see what else the biker has going on beyond his leather chaps, all while dutifully watching the road for rogue Elk, which Keith has just pointed out is a problem on this road.