Thursday, July 6, 2017

home office 2: an exercise


They had their first fight in years when he told her when they sat down at the kitchen table one night to compare notes, thoughts and sketches regarding the house they were going to build in the woods. He told her he wanted his office to be outside the home, a separate structure, simple, a cozy box with a window above his desk.

He would to build it down the hill from the house, maybe fifty feet, he explained, and fashion a footpath from the back of the house to it, with rails to hold onto for the winter days and nights when the stepping could be icy.

She stared at his rudimentary rendering, then nodded the way she nodded when she "agreed" with something she was against.

Ed asked, what's wrong?

Nothing, she said, staring at the drawing. Ed thought to reach for it, crumple it up, say let's talk about this, start over, back to the drawing board. But he did not. Instead he wondered what about the idea most rubbed her incorrectly.

Betty pulled her left hand from her lap under the table to prop her chin upon it, her elbow landing on her own notebook, as if, Ed thought to himself, a lock upon it. He looked at her wedding ring, then had a thought he shared.

It seems like I want to be alone.

Betty's eyes stayed on his drawing.

That's it, isn't it?

Finally her eyes came to his, misty. He moved his chair closer to his.

Remember when we talked about this coming up?

She nodded.

Well, here we are.

She nodded again and asked:

Do I bother you when you're working?

Ed shook his head and saw in Betty's eyes that she saw in his the small lie in what he'd just said and he knew this one would not just blow away in a breeze he wished he could conjure to come through the window and blow his stupid piece of paper away.

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