“So, what are you going write about today,” asked Sami.
“I don’t really know yet. Any suggestions,” I said.
Sami leaned back in her chair and rubbed her little chin like she’d seen so many grown-ups do. She looked around the small hospital room, hoping for some inspiration.
“How about… um… giant fighting laser robots,” suggested Sami.
“I’m not really sure that’s the way I feel like going today. What else,” I asked.
Sami frowned a bit and continued swiveling in her chair. She spun around all the way, daintily scooching with her toes on the stark white tile floor.
“What about a swamp that’s filled with, like, radioactive hands that come to life at night and steal children from the swamp village,” she said.
“You’re really into the whole sci-fi thing today,” I said, “but I don’t know if writing about kidnapping would be all that appropriate.”
Sami nodded and nudged her chair closer to me. She got up on her little knees in the seat and tucked them under her nightgown. The I.V. drip dangling loosely over the back of the chair.
“Can I tell you a secret,” asked Sami.
“Of course you can,” I said.
Sami looked around the room to make sure there were no other prying ears about.
“Sometimes I like your stories because they’re not so sad. Not like some of the poems. Your stories are pretty fun and, you know, don’t make me feel sad,” whispered Sami.
“Really? That’s very interesting Sami. I like to write those stories too because they are a lot of fun,” I said, “but sometimes you have to use your words to express the troubled feelings that are way down inside yourself. And sometimes those words are sad.”
Sami nodded and sat back in her chair. She straightened out an errant hair from her head and smoothed it back into her pony tail.
“I guess,” said Sami, “But are you sure you don’t feel like writing about big monsters or shadow people or cats? Maybe you could do a story about pony cats!”
“Pony cats? What are pony cats,” I asked.
Sami leaned closer to me and looked into my face. She seemed aghast that I didn’t know what pony cats were, even though she had just invented them mere seconds ago.
“Pony Cats are big horse sized cats that solve mysteries and save princesses and fly and have battle armor and use science and are cuddly and are always ready to give you a ride to the doctor’s or to grandma’s,” said Sami.
“Wow, they sound pretty amazing. But why don’t you write about them then. You seem to know so much about them,” I said.
Sami put her little hand on mine and leaned her forehead against mine.
“I’m not a writer. You are. So you should do it. Pony cats,” she whispered.
“So I should write about pony cats today then,” I asked.
“Yes and I will read it and I will love it. As long as you don’t make it depressing,” she said letting go of my hand and spinning her chair back around.
“Okay, I will see if I can come up with a Pony Cats story,” I said.
“Good,” said Sami as she started to yawn.
A nurse came into the room and shooed Sami back into her bed. There was a little protest from Sami about not being tired and she wanted to stay up but once back into her bed she was calmed and ready to sleep.
“Good night,” I said.
“Good night,” said Sami.
I left the hospital room and went down to the parking garage. I lit a cigarette in my car and started to cry.