A year of us | day 261

A year of us | day 261

day 261

We made it down to the river when the rain came. It was soft at first. “This is where we were,” he said. He traced an arc with his hand from the riverbank down to the rocks where they played. I watched his swift angling over the rocks and felt the tug of him growing up. The rain fell all at once like a dunk booth at the fair, only I didn’t feel any cooler. “No glasses,” I said, “let’s run back to the car.”

A year of us | day 260

A year of us | day 260

day 260

“A guy in a silver pickup truck just pulled up and took our old couch.” Its pale gold color bleached even lighter by the sun but he didn’t notice or care. I had gotten used to the position of the couch in the front yard facing the road. I thought about setting up a projection screen across the road and having a drive-in movie night, without the drive or the long looping line to order popcorn and drinks. We could still recreate it. The couch, however, was central to the plan.

A year of us | day 259

A year of us | day 259

day 259

Empty again. I checked the mailbox while he napped; the film still hadn’t arrived. I paced back and forth with my notebook on the porch. I could see the edges of a scene for the story, then a clear glimpse of Henry seated at the kitchen table. Clanking the spoon on the edge of a bowl of warm vichyssoise. Cold soup was for the feeble. A bit early for lunch, but he supped all the same, with the crusted end of yesterday’s sourdough bread.

A year of us | day 258

A year of us | day 258

day 258

All the materials were in place to write: notebook, pen, coffee, and water (off to the side). Suddenly 11 am and snack time. He sat down with a plate of cheese, crackers, and ham slices and water. He delivered a fifteen minute monologue on the different ways you can make ham roll sandwiches. I stared at him, then the page, out the window, then back at him. The story would have to wait unless it I wanted to write an ode to ham. “Are you writing about me,” he asked with a sly grin. “Yes.” “Yay.” Then he gave me a story idea about a hero’s journey starring the buffalo, cow, and pig.

A year of us | day 254

A year of us | day 254

day 254

They played cards while we waited for our takeout. Then L bathed and C played. I sat down to write for a few minutes. I stared out the window so long I felt myself fade into the flower cushioned wood chair. I became as empty as the room: a round mahogany table set with two chairs. I stared at a blue tinted white screen and waited and waited and waited for someone wearing a side braid to walk into the room carrying a copy of “Pictures of the Gone World” while he spouts on about “Fulungetty” in a misplaced accent so thick the r in the poets name is swallowed like a cherry tomato, whole in one big gulp.