Sketches – 41

I’m wearing this hat
For the rest of my life

What? Why?

Because the world is a meaningless
Nightmare of suffering.
And besides, my mom says
I’ve been looking old

You do not.
Besides, your mom is like
A fountain of
Inappropriate comments

I’m ancient.
This hat will cover my shame

Nietzche said
Shame was a sign of
Decadent servant morality

Yeah, well.
He was insane and
His sister was a Nazi

She also wore a hat.
Look, Wikipedia

You know I can’t see that
With this over my eyes…

My love,
You’re young.
You’re younger than young.
And your mom is …


… wrong.
That’s the word.
Now please take the hat off.

I need at least three more
German philosophers
To weigh in first

Kant says listening to your mom
Is not a categorical imperative,
Hegel says getting old is
Part of the phenomenology of the
Spirit of the world-soul,
And Schopenhauer says
Hegel was an idiot

It’s worth taking the hat off
So as to never hear you
Utter a sentence like that one
Ever again

Very wise

Sketches – 40

How’s it going?

Not too shabby, actually.

That’s great!

No. You don’t understand.
I’m trying to paint something that is,
By definition,
“Too shabby”


Remember the abandoned store
I had you stop at so
I could take pictures?


I’m trying to paint that building, but it’s not just the building, it is the death of someone’s dream, perhaps the only dream they ever had… you know, the death of idealism itself, when all our prettied-up images turn into far-too-shabby reality and it we feel the soul-destroying heartbreak of life itself, in all its impermanence, and cherished ideals of our childhood come crashing down around us with the inevitability of the grave and the squalid sort of smell of the worst sort of nursing home, the kind you never really get over visiting, and certainly don’t get over if you are unfortunate enough to end up there. So it’s a building that’s been abandoned, it’s death, it’s disillusionment, it’s everything that tells us that much we strive for is really meaningless. Do you see what I’m saying?

You are unhappy with the emotional resonance of your painting so far.
Maybe more maroon?…

As husbands go,
You are a sorry-ass art critic

As artists go
You are a pretty amazing wife

Nice save

Not too shabby, I’d say

Sketches – 39

Dude, you look tired.

I am tired.
Really tired

I’m sure you are
You’ve been up since what, 2:00?

That sounds right

What’s on your mind?

Just work stuff…
You’re very beautiful, you know

Although — that was kind of random

I have to say these things
While I’m thinking them or..

… I’ll become ugly?
… You’ll actually get some sleep?
… I won’t cry during “This Is Us”?

None of those sound possible

Possible. Humph.
What exactly is ‘possibility’, anyway?

It’s a quasi-probabilistic concept
With an indefensible metaphysical basis

Surprisingly unhelpful, that sentence

Are you really surprised?

Not really, but I’ll be surprised if you are still around
If you don’t start getting some sleep

I slept well last week
Anyway, it’s not like you get a lot of sleep

I don’t have seizures when I don’t sleep, either
So what’s your plan?

I just need to relax is all.
Clear my mind

.. and if that doesn’t work …

Get out my “Tax Law for Insurance Companies” book
It used to work on the kids…

Wow, you are tired

The Windmill On the Plain

“I wish I’d made more difference,”
She told me, plaintively;
“You have,” I said, “most certainly.
At least you have with me.”

It’s like the windmill on the plain,
Who turns for lonely hours,
But never sees the end result
Of all its transferred


Sketches – 38

Remember that time we stayed
Out on that lodge near the beach
And it was so cold?

I will never forget that

I found this hat in
The back of the closet.
You probably don’t remember
I was wearing it when–

I most certainly do remember

What else was I wearing?

A pink sweater,
Much like the one you are wearing now.
And those furry brown snowboots
You used to have.
Even though we’d been inside awhile
You were still dressed for snow.

You do remember.
I’m impressed.
What we were doing
Right before we–

You were reading a book
By Robert McCammon —
“Wolf’s Hour”, I think,
I had gotten it for you
For Christmas…

… and …?

I was playing a game on
An old GameBoy SP, I believe, and
You were drinking coffee out
Of a big mug, and…

What song came on the radio?

“My Girl” by the Temptations.

I told you I loved to dance to that song

So we danced… and stuff.

You were very romantic in those days.

Do you miss being younger?

Nah, you can only be younger for so long,
Then it gets old.

Your logic is unassailable

We should dance… and stuff more often.

You’ve already got the hat on.
That’s all I was waiting for.

Somebody Else

You seem troubled
Recently. Like
Stuff’s on your mind.

Do you ever wish
That you were with
Somebody else?

No, but sometimes
I wish I was
Somebody else.

Why? What is wrong
With the person
You really are?

I find her a

And what was she
Supposed to be
That you are not?

Part Beyoncé
And part Einstein.
You know, like that.

I don’t think that
The hair would have
Matched the body.

Very funny.
No. Smarter and
More beautiful.

But I truly
Love the woman
You really are.

Well. I guess
That I must have
Higher standards…

… If so, I’m glad
You didn’t use
Them choosing me.

A Donut Shop Encounter

[overheard in line]

… so… you like the Butternut?

Yes, they’re very good.

Then I’ll take one of those, too.

Anything else, sir?

Yes. Your employee discount.

[Laughs] Sure. Why not. Anything else?

Yes. Your number.

Umm… I have a boyfriend.

Really? Ever given HIM your employee discount?

Nice one. That’ll be four seventy-three.

[Turning to me] Can I help you?

I think I’ll try the Butternut as well. You handled that really well, by the way.

Yeah, well… his wife is waiting for him out in the car, I figured she’d appreciate it.

Or wouldn’t, as the case may be.