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’.

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.


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.

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.
Is what I’d call an ‘Insultory’

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…


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
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.

Sketches – 30

The breakfast of champions.

My stars, you look beautiful this morning.

You think so? Well, we’ve got a big day ahead.

A big day of… of what? Did I forget something?

You’d better be joking.

Yeah, of course I’m… no, I’m drawing a blank. No clue.

You need to remember, I’m not helping you out of this.
Thank you for the flowers by the way.

You’re welcome, but, you actually thanked me yesterday.

I know. But they’re still beautiful.
Want some orange juice?

I’ll get it. Seriously, what are we doing today?

The Retirement-slash-Fourth-of-July party? Remember?

Oy. Yes. Ugh.

Such enthusiasm. It is our own family, you know.

And I love Ronnie, it’s just —

You’d rather sit around and reread Harry Potter all day?

Well – yeah, I would.
Do you really want to go?

Me? Heavens, no.
But I got up and made myself presentable, now I feel obliged to go.

You do look amazing.

Thank you.
So — what if we go but cut out early?
Before the heavy drinking starts?

I like the sound of that.
Maybe we could go for a drive in the country afterwards.

My mother warned me about men like you.

Really? What did she say?

They’ll flatter you, then try to get you off alone in their cars.

Yes, that sounds like me. She pretty much has my number.

My mom better not have your number.

She hardly ever calls at 3 am any more…

You are about to get a plate of oranges upside your head.

A good concussion might help me enjoy the party more.

Oh please. If I have to suffer through it, you do.

Fair enough.

Sketches – 29

Sleep singing. It’s a thing.

How is your day going?

Fine, so far — you?

Oh, good. Did you
Sleep okay last night?

No, not really,
I was kind of up and down.

Because you were singing.
In your sleep.

Sleep singing?
I think not.
I may snore, but
I would never do anything
So gauche
As to sing in my sleep.

I recorded it.
You want to hear it?

I’m dreading this.
But sure.






You called me at work
Just to RickRoll me?

No, also to tell you
I had fun last night

So did I

Well, before the singing.

I love you, but
You are very strange

You love me because
I’m very strange

Maybe so…

Definitely so

Sketches – 28

The world seems cold and dark.

Why do you look so sad, my lovely one?

The world seems cold and dark to me today.
Don’t you have hours that you feel this way?

I do. Such feelings cannot be outrun.

What say you that we lay and rest a bit?

The restlessness I feel’s my own, I fear:
And though you’ll touch me, I will not be here.

Still, we can try – that much you must admit –

Where are your thoughts right now, if you can say?

They’re on the world itself, so full of dread:
‘Tween what-should-be and what-we-have-instead.

Oh, wow. That’s more than I can hug away —

We lay and listened to the morning birds;
For some things can’t be fixed by deeds or words.


(“Sketches – 28” – 3-19-2017)