losing the competition

the time they spent together 
seemed so right —

similar interests,
easy conversation,
and an unforced intimacy that
turned red hot at the right moments


she kept losing the competition
for his time to
another woman, one
she thought she could
pry him away from —

so she ended it

wondering how she lost a good thing,
not to a supermodel or
some sexual gymnast, but

to a grown man’s


A Love Story

Once, a shy girl: soft imploding,
Preset pillows, pressed decoding,
Colored contacts, carbo loading,
Lover, fighter, guard of dreams —

Then, a new boy: bright exploring,
Hope expanding, thoughts outpouring,
Dark hair shining, passions warring,
Writer, painter, all extremes —

Came a moment: golden gladness,
Manic mixture, molten madness,
Scenes of soon-forgotten sadness,
Two lives taken off of shelves

Once, a shy girl: gotten bolder,
Then, a new boy made to hold her,
One more day, but not just older,
Two new people, now

Sketches – 93

I used to wonder how ugly guys ended up with beautiful women — now I are one

You are not ugly. I would not have married you if you were. Your grammar, on the other hand…

Ugliness is more than appearance. Or maybe less, I can never remember

Well, that’s just nonsense

How about, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes all the way down?”

That makes a little more sense, but it is not you. You do a lot for other people, so don’t give me that hogwash


Yes, as in “the bilgy water used for the cleaning of hogs”

Oh. And speaking of hogwash, I have to give a talk out of town next weekend

About what?

The title of the talk is “Statistical effects on morbidity and mortality: How the pandemic has impacted health conditions unrelated to COVID

Well, that actually does sound kind of ugly. Is this a bunch of you actuarial types?

Yes. I’ll only be gone Friday night, because it’s only about a six hour drive, and I’ll be done by 1:00 Saturday. You could come, if you want, but I figured you’d be working

Actually, I think I will come. You’re going up to Columbia, right?

No, Charlotte.

Even better. I don’t have to attend the actual speech, right?

No, of course not. I’m trying to figure out a way I can avoid going to my own talk. What do you have in mind?

I want to go down to the river and do some sketching. That would really help.

Cool. It will be a fairly late night Friday; we will probably get in around midnight. The company has got me at the Westin.

Double cool. I get to turn into the mysterious midnight hotel version of me.

I seem to remember liking that version of you A LOT

You remember correctly

Just don’t knock all the numbers out of my head, I’m going to need them

I am making no promises. You knew the risks when you married me