Distress Call

I took the call from inside a driftwood fort. It was 50 degrees and a fat rain drop splattered here and there. The call came from a friend marooned in a Las Vegas hotel room where the temperature pushed 100 degrees outside. It was probably the first call in the history of calling where the conversation unfolded between someone in an air conditioned driftwood fort and someone in an air conditioned Las Vegas hotel room.

I answered the call because I knew my friend was in great distress over some recent upheavals in her life.

You never know when distress might engulf, obliterate you. What do you do? Where do you turn? I’m writing a book on that very subject.

We talked for half an hour. I told her of the messages left behind in the fort in my latest edition of the ongoing driftwood fort writing project. Most writers expressed joy and wonder. But a few expressed severe emotional pain and trying to work through it at the ocean—in the fort. I recommended the ocean for her. It doesn’t work for everyone but the attempt is certainly worth it…and in, Oregon, free. That no-cost deal counts for something that is hard to quantify and I know a thing or two about trying to quantify it. It’s sort of Oregon’s greatest secret.

I sent my friend a couple photographs of the various forts in the area that I had started and fort fairies had taken over from there.

She sent me a smiley-face emoticon in return and she told me she was driving out to the desert to walk in the heat, sweat, and think.