I should say goodbye and leave the room with only a faint whiff of Shalimar to remind you I was here, but frankly I’m a mess. And I sure don’t smell like perfume right now.
Because we are writers and we must have a last (the last?) word.
Two days ago a small explosion erupted on the block that sent everyone running in confusion.
Red Room was shutting down.
We gathered in small groups, chatting amongst ourselves on our cyber front porches.
How will I find you?
What’s a wattpad?
What do you mean our stuff’s saved to an internet archive?
Where are you?
Hello? hello? Give me your contact information.
We need a place to gather our thoughts, comfort each other, and share information.
So The Red Room Writers was born.
As soon as I unlocked the door, people began streaming into the room, chattering and hugging, welcoming, and searching the faces for missing friends.
Where’s Ron? We found Mara! There’s Jules, and Orna, and Sue.
Relief filled our bodies as we began to breathe again.
Cups of coffee and a few cocktails got passed around as the refugees began to take stock.
Should I use WordPress or Blogger?
Can someone tell me about Wattpad?
What about our work? How do we save what’s ours?
I’ve got forty pages of stuff to copy and save.
I want my comments, they are as important as my work.
Sorry, can’t stay for pie, I’ve got to get back to copying and pasting.
Tick- tock goes the clock.
By now we are starting to sound frantic. We trade shortcuts. We gripe and we moan.
Our wrists are aching, shoulders screaming, and our fingers are permanently curled over a keyboard.
The wrecking ball sits outside the window of this place. We can see it from the window, and it’s making everyone jumpy.
Our significant others think we’re going nuts.
But they don’t understand.
This was our clubhouse. Our dorm. Our writing retreat space.
We all grew up in this place.
These are our peeps.
This is our tribe.
Many of us know our RR neighbors better than we know the couple living next door.
We try to explain, but they look at us with knitted brows, and talk to us carefully, as if we are standing on a ledge.
“Yes, yes, it’s all going to be fine. Now why don’t you close your laptop and come have some dinner.”
“NO!” we growl. Our eyes are red rimmed and our hair pushed into a greasy ponytail. Days old clothes are covered with stains from eating while typing and clicking the mouse.
They don’t understand. Our babies are in here. We have to bring each one to safety before they turn out the lights.
Each person who succeeds stays and cheers the others on.
We won’t leave anyone behind.