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

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.

Sketches – 37

How young was I in that picture?

It was few years ago

A few? Like, fifteen?

Six, actually

I bet you wish you
Were still married to her

I am still married to her

Why do you have these
Old photos out?

I want to get all of my
Favorites and have them
Transfered to digital

And this one is a favorite?

Yeah, look how happy you look

So I’m not happy now?

You tell me

I’m not unhappy, I’m
Just tired, mostly

There’s a lot of that
Going around

Societal mononucleosis

Yes, except
Without the kissing

I forgot I used to wear
Nail polish that dark

Do you remember
What you were listening to?

No. I’m not even sure
Where that was taken

Near a coffee shop,
I think

You can never be too near
A coffee shop

I’m sorry, by the way

Sorry for what?

That I don’t do more,
Knowing how tired you are

You have had a lot going on
I know

Yeah, well
We are supposed to be a team

Aren’t we?

I’m just not always the greatest teammate

Well, if you wanted to help with the tiredness
You could run out and get me some coffee

If it will produce that smile
You’re on

Sketches – 36

It’s true: just seeing you right there
Asleep – completely at your ease –
I know that love is real and true,
And the one cure for that disease
That plagues humanity, at heart,
For all the shouting, posturing,
In which so many will take part
Today. And yet I see you here,
And hope rekindles, once again:
For once more into days we go,
And need not always go where we have been —

I am guessing that
You are staring at me and
Writing in your head.
Aren’t you?

I ummm… thought you were alseep.

Yes, I gathered that.
Well, at least tell me what
It was about…

Oh, you know…
How beautiful you are, and
Love and
War and
Humanity and
Hope and…
… stuff.


You’ve gone back to sleep,
Haven’t you?

Sketches – 35

It’s not been a good day

What’s going on?

I plan stuff with friends, but then
They cancel —
My mom seems to find fault with
Everything I do —
You know,
“Ever think of getting a real job?”
Like my painting
Is some kind of game

Which friends?

In the last couple weeks,
Both Claire and Leslie

And your mom giving career advice?
She let hers nearly consume her

Yeah, well, she’s
Getting up there in age, there’s
No real reasoning with her

I think what you do is
A ‘real’ job, for what that’s worth

Thank you, dear, but
If I add it all up, I’m barely scraping
Minimum wage

Well, first of all,
That’s not true, your math
Is horrible.
Second of all…
Do you think she is right?
She’s not, but
Do you think so?

When you have no value as
A friend and
You have no value as
A worker
It’s not been a good day

Both Claire and Leslie
Have relied on you when times got tough,
Haven’t they?

Being useful and
Being loved are
Two different things.
I know what you’re saying,
And you are right, of course,
But it hurts to feel like
You aren’t any kind of priority

I totally get that

And as for my mom,
I don’t know how many years she has left, but
I wish I could think
She was proud of me, instead
Of critical

‘Not a good day’
Is a fair way to describe it.
At least you have that pillow.

It’s very reliable and

We need more of those