Sandalwood Marinade

Caution: The following post contains strong language. 

Nobody warned me about the hazards of a writing fellowship.  Consequently, I contracted a painful case of “Writer’s Neck.”  While colleagues insisted suffering breeds creativity, I sought relief from Ms. V, the Main Street masseuse.  Talk about relief!  My Vermont muscle-rubber kneaded me like sourdough.

Stretched out on the slab and slathered in sandalwood oil, I submitted to Ms. V.  Randy shed vicarious muscle tension and fell to dozing.  Gas Music from Venus wafted from the digital boom box.  Then the sandalwood oil bottle hit the floor.  Randy retrieved.  “Good boy,” said Ms. V.

But in Randy, the scent and taste had triggered the call of the wild.  He licked the oil off my foot.  He licked the floor where the bottle fell.  “There’s nothing there,” said Ms. V.

“That won’t stop him,” I said.  “Not once he’s got the taste.”

“But there’s nothing there,” repeated Ms. V.

“I hope you’re right,” I said.  “I’ve borne witness to Randy’s gastrointestinal misadventures and they rival Vesuvius.”  Randy licked my other foot.  I shooed him away.

“Don’t worry,” said Ms. V.  “Those slurping noises are just from the little bit in his mouth.  Oil doesn’t dissolve, you know.  It lingers.  He’ll be OK.”

I formed my response carefully.  Too strident was whining.  Too casual was ineffectual.  I said, “He’ll shit like a goose.”

The phrase hung like a southbound gander, then plopped to the floor along with the sandalwood oil bottle.  “Oops, slippery” said Ms. V, then hastily added, “Don’t worry.  Nothing spilled.  Everything’s all right.”

Hours later now, I’m hunched over my keyboard, undoing all the good work of Ms. V.   Randy is sacked out.  He twitches in sleep. Chasing rabbits by the river? Closing on that solitary gander winging south?  Someone’s stomach rumbles.  I massage my writer’s neck.  The skin is slick, the scent is sandalwood.

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5 Responses to Sandalwood Marinade

  1. Jenny T says:

    Hi Jeff, So funny. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain my guidedogs’ odd behaviors, and simply grin and accept that both of my boys had and have strange habits. My first loved soda, which I discovered accidentally when he drank half of my large open container at a university football game. I guess he just wanted to be part of the atmosphere, as well. He also loved my sister’s homemade sorbet and frozen fruit bars. Well, who wouldn’t? My Blazer loves carpet, paper and food. If it looks good to him, he’ll eat it or lick it. Well, I guess if it makes them happy, we’ll just have to accept that our dogs enrich our lives in ways that we never could have imagined possible. Thank you for sharing your adventures. As for writer’s cramps, I find that long cuddles with one of my four guinea pigs or Blazer is the perfect therapy. Jenny and her wonderful guidedog Blazer

  2. sarahjmartin says:

    A lover of sandalwood this just brings so many thoughts to the forefront of my mind…this is a funny piece and feel all that much better for reading it…..thanks Jeff

  3. William (Colt) says:

    Jeff, thanks for your latest story. You really write well and keep it up. And I wish you and your readers all the best to come. I don’t think I’ll write again, at least not for awhile. It’s getting late here. Let me just say how good it is to see you making every day count for something big. This has nothing to do with being able to see well or not, I just mean it’s encouraging to see you stamp out each day like it matters. And it does. Add to that your RP, well, you have my great respect for telling your RP to kiss the wind. I hate RP. I’m still asking God why he allows such a thing?! He doesn’t answer. I’m not a religious person, but I dare say there are few who can be more spiritual.
    There is so much beauty in the world and I’ve been blessed to see much of it. I’m going to do my damnest to think about the beauty in life still to come, and I’m going to adjust to whatever happens ahead, one step backward and two steps forward I guess.
    Peace always be with you.

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. I’m glad that what I write tickles your funny bone and brings to mind pleasant memories. Keep reading, William, and keep writing. I give myself permission to say, “I hate RP. I hate blindness” while loving life. And I have learned to hear my wife say, “Sometimes, I hate that you’re blind” and not hear “I hate what you are.” These distinctions are vital and defining.

  4. Julie deAnguera says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I just got your blog site from Dave T. I have only just read this one and enjoyed it!! Writing is such a talent and a therapy in it’s own right or is that “write”? Ha….well anyway, my daughter writes a blog too …she has an anoxic brain injury she suffered at 23yrs. old which left her moderately disabled in most areas, including blindness for about 3 months or so. Slowly it came back mostly(no peripheral vision) but then she had to retraiin her brain to understand and translate what she was seeing. Many challenges lay ahead for her but if you are interested in reading her thoughts, her blog site is: . She has many grammatical errors but I think you can glean the jist of it mostly.
    I hope you are doing well and I will keep reading your blog….thanks for your writings. Hi to Mary.
    Take care Jeff,
    Julie deA.

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