Coffee. Children. Dogs. Cleaning a desk and preparing to write. Too much preparing. A bite to eat, and then sitting down. The phone rings, naturally, and I take it outside. It’s clearer out there.

I pace the perimeter of the yard like a king surveying his dominion – apologizing to the grass as I needlessly trample it. I am coherent. Sharp. The call ends and I linger outside as the dogs demand that I engage them.

I throw a ball. Scratch a chin. Rub ears. And then return inside to a cool and shady office where a laptop sits squarely in the center of a clean black desk. I sit down and write a few words against the howl of raging sirens racing past – and get lost.

Some time later, a car door closes outside my window. The voices of children rise like seductive sirens calling me to jump off of my moving train. I take one last look back inside the passenger car in search of the word that will lead to a string of new words – but it eludes me. I smile, shake my head, and announce, “Well – I’ll see ya boys.” to the men silently reading newspapers, wearing top hats, and smoking pipes. They quickly look in my direction, and then with a singular ‘SNAP’ – turn pages and bury faces. Some days, they don’t even know I’m there.

I close my eyes, leap, and land back outside where I’m greeted by two little girls who call me Daddy.

I’m like a king.


Jim Mitchem


Write Well or Die
A Lesson in Contracts

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.