It was not an easy thing after Charles left. There were Charles shaped holes everywhere I looked – in the clothes closet, in his chair by the fireplace, in my bed. It took me a long while to not make his breakfast beside mine. Four eggs and toast was not more difficult than two. The difficulty was in remembering how to cook only two. Like Proust’s storied madeleine, a wealth of memory bottomed up with each egg. And what is perhaps most odd was that I had no intention of filling that hole. Charles had left, and the whole remained.
Wobbles and Tombo
“I realize that homosexuality is a serious problem for anyone who is,but then, of course, heterosexuality is a serious problem for anyone who is, too. And being a man is a serious problem and being a woman is, too. Lots of things are problems.”
There was debris scattered all over the highway, shoulder to shoulder. The writer of the story had abandoned any pretense of understanding what it was about. He’d leave it for the tour guides to explain. What passed at one time for reason now just confused. Seduction and scandal at the airport. “Stringing words together is not a story,” said the editor. “Context counts for something. If you can’t tell me what it’s about, is it about anything?” The poet refused to weigh in, and let it hang in the air like a balloon animal. Likely no one would care anyway.
The phone rings on the far side of the house. I stop typing, my cat raises his head from the pile of comforters where he’s sleeping. We both listen, ears cocked, as the answering machine down the kitchen kicks in. I hear my own muffled voice telling the caller I’m not at home. Neither of us can understand the echoing message. After a single shrill note from the machine, the house is quiet again. The cat yawns, showing his sharp teeth, and goes back to sleep. I turn back to my desk. Now I know how the story ends.