Thursday, September 9, 2010
I turn and look at Charles’ hand. The can is upright and I think about the forces inside his body which must make the beer spill onto his lap soon: blood pumping at a slower pace, muscles giving over to nothingness, fingers forgetting the purpose of objects. His mouth hangs open innocently, which reminds me of my Uncle Jim, asleep after every family dinner. Charles stirs, tips the can, wakes up and catches it at a 45 degree angle. His face registers shock and relief. We glare at each other for about 30 seconds without malice, without silent greetings, without meaning.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
He could only brace for what lay ahead by thinking of the squirrel dancing in white underpants. His son begged him to replay the clips until the dancing floored the boy with uncontrollable giggles. “Thkrul” was difficult to pronounce without front teeth, but Mr. Dancy-pants had become a weekly ritual. Barnabus Tilson felt his waistband for a well-tucked shirt, adjusted his belt, and straightened his crisp collar. He washed his hands, again, as he checked his shaved mug in the men’s room mirror. With squirrel’s dancing in his head, he returned to the previously crowded lounge to find a lone woman.
“Hello, MaryBeth Donahue?”
“Yes! Bar, so nice to finally meet you. From Jane’s description, I didn’t think you would be quite so tall. Please call me Beth.”
“Alright… Beth. Our table may not be ready… I am happy to buy you a drink.”
“Thank you. That would be nice.”
Her eyes grazed him completely, before the blue-grey glance made itself over to the list above the bartender - who suddenly appeared, to take her request. He imagined this happened often - people suddenly poised for command. It made her a formidable head of school. “I am glad we could meet before September.”