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?

Yes
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.

{silence}

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

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

It’s very reliable and
Non-judgmental

We need more of those

Amen

Sketches – 34

How do you like the new hair?

It looks great!
As long as it has the original woman under it —

Did you just say
‘Old’ woman?

No. I said
‘Original’ woman,
‘Original,’ as in
‘Never gets old’.

Seriously,
You like it?
It looked better
Right after she did it…

I do like it, very much, Seriously.
I have a question for you,
A money question.

Yes?

I wanted to plan
A four day vacation for
Our anniversary, but
I wanted to make sure you
Were cool with the options.
Some of them are pricey.

Let’s take a look.
Option 1 — um, no.
Option 2 — that looks okay.
Option 3 — not happening.
Option 4 — nice, but – save that for your next wife.

So Savannah it is.
I’ll book it.

On second thought…
Don’t have a next wife.

I wasn’t planning on it.

I’ll have a lot more fun knowing
We’re not wasting money.
Would you have spent that much on a trip?

Me? Yes. It’s making memories.

We can make memories anywhere

I like the sound of that

You would

Sketches – 33

The past — it isn’t what it used to be.

Hey, love.

Hey, sweetie.

Whatcha working on?

Ideas for paintings.

And how’s that coming?

Six pages so far.

That’s great!

Thank you, thank you, I am impressive. What have you been writing about these days?

Oh, the last dating relationship I had before you.

That Karen girl, from work?

No, there was one other one. Lisa.

And who was she?

She worked in… the medical field.

A nurse? A doctor?

Not exactly…

A crash test dummy? A cadaver?

Something like that.

How come you’ve never mentioned her?

Because I met you and all other women were forgotten….

… until you started blogging.

Until I started blogging, yes.

So what are you saying about her?

That the relationship was hollow and meaningless.

Yeah, right. Seriously, I should do a series of paintings on my old boyfriends.

They were a bunch of weightlifters. What would you call it? “The Roids Not Taken”?

Okay, that was actually pretty funny. No, I would call it, “People I Dated Before I Was Taken Completely For Granted By Someone Who Claims To Love Me.”

Snappy name, that should bring in buyers. And I do not take you for granted.

Then why relive your glory days?

They weren’t glory days.
They were just days I had to go through.
I am a romantic, I always was.
You were what I was looking for,
You seriously were,
And you seriously are.

I can live with that.

Sketches – 32

A desultory sort of coziness. And hammocks, revisted.

Look, I got us a hammock.

You most certainly did —
It seems kind of small.

Yeah, well.
I prefer the word ‘cozy’.

‘Cozy’ is a strange word.

Piffle.
This little room is cozy.
Our whole house is cozy.
I will not have
Its coziness questioned!

Oh, I’m questioning its coziness.
In fact,
There are parts of this house
That are more desultory than cozy.
There, I said it.

Maybe you’d prefer
A nice, cozy hotel room?
One you can have to yourself?

Well – no.

Ok, then.
Apologize.
‘Desultory’
Is what I’d call an ‘Insultory’
Word.

Ok.
Sorry, house, room, and hammock.
Your coziness is without question,
At least,
Out loud.

Not good enough.

I was warned
That relationships
Eventually devolve
Into bald power dynamics.
You want to control my thoughts.
We might have different
Coziness paradigms.
Have you ever thought of that?
Differing concepts of what it is
To be desultory.

That’s fair.
However, let’s approach this practically.
I was thinking we could share this hammock.
It is, as I believe you said,
Rather small.
For two of us to occupy it simultaneously,
Would be rather… rather…

Cozy.

Exactly.
Do you want to experience it
Or debate it?

Point granted.
You do realize
Using my desire for intimacy
To win arguments is manipulative.
Which is not to say I don’t like it, because
I do.

Hmmm. Your concession seems rather
Desultory.
Are you going to put this
Inane conversation
On your blog?

That’s where all
Our most ridiculous ones go

You are very, very odd, my dear.

Sketches – 31

Hammocks are always worth discussing…

It’s nice back here.
We need one of these.

Yes, this house is really great, I can see why they love it.
You do know that everyone else is out by the pool, right?

My skin and the sun aren’t on speaking terms, to use your expression.
We could probably both fit on this —

Dear, some of my fondest memories are of you and me on hammocks.
However, I weigh quite a bit more than I used to.
I know from experience: when the ambulance shows up, the party is pretty much over.

{ … silent imploring expression … }

Oh, all right. Scooch over.

I don’t think “scooch” is an actual word.
And see? We do both fit.

We’re like half a centimeter from the floor.

Oh, stop.

What was the kiss for?

Because you came to this dreadful party with me.
Everyone here is half our age.

They seem to be having fun.

I have some ideas for our drive later.

Cool. Is there a particular place you want to go?

Let’s go up to the backwaters.
My dad’s old fishing lake.

Wouldn’t we need permission?

I have a key.

Seriously? I never knew you had a key.

I just got it. You know David, the sort of tall, blonde, flabby one?
He’s the grandson of the original owners.
He remembered us coming when he was young.

He’s still young.

If you were younger, you’d know what
You ought to be doing right now.

There are like a million windows in this room.

Oh, grow up.