I taught myself to make pie eight or nine years ago. The first unweighted crust shrank down the sides of the plate and became a disk. I was furious at my failure, so I threw the disk away and started over. Our friend, Abbi, stayed with us that summer. She saw the crust in the trash. She, too, became furious. Not furious at my failure, but furious because we still could have eaten it. To her, the crust hadn't been rendered inedible, only impossible to fill. To me, it was dead. Deader than dead. It was a ghost. A ghost tries, but it can only ever be a ghost.
I made the pie for my wedding. I make the pie for Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. I make the pie why? I make the pie because I watched Pushing Daisies and thought Lee Pace looked good doing it. Basic. It's never not because of hot guys. Every story I write is about hot guys. Every drawing I draw, too. This year, I became the hot guy I've always wanted to be. You've seen the pictures because I post one almost every night on Instagram after I work out. I try, too, but I'm not a ghost yet, so I succeed.
The other day I burned a pie crust and threw it away. Again, furious. Things change only a little at a time. I make the pies for a restaurant in my neighborhood now. Shawn's a manager there. My pies sell so well I should open my own shop someday. People ask why I haven't already. I either don't know the answer or refuse to explore the question. It's probably the same reason I haven't written a novel yet—because I don't want to. Maybe one day I will.
Neither of my books is in print anymore. I don't know what to do about it. What I've settled on for now is to just ignore it and write more stories. If you've wanted to ask if I still write, there's your answer. Yes.
What's happened this summer other than pies? I had art in a show. My favorite piece sold. One of the ghost drawings. There's a fireplace. A man looks into the fire but doesn't see the ghost on the other side of it. The ghost sees the man, though. In my drawings, the men never see the ghosts. In our house, Shawn and I always see the ghosts. There's one who keeps pretending to be our cat. Shawn sees another one. It's tall and covered in hair. He says he was cooking late one night after work and it grabbed his shoulder. When he turned to see if it was me or Josh, he saw it leave the kitchen like Sasquatch in that grainy video from the 60s.
Josh has never seen a ghost I haven't drawn. He's asleep when they're busy. When I'm still up making pie.