There Must be Some Nice Things I Can Say about You

Let me see.

There must be some nice things

I can say about you.

I get to hang out with my inner hermit again.

Where you been? he asks sullenly.

Busy, I say, busy. But hey! It’s good to see you.

Can we, you know, have a beer together? Bring in a Pizza? Watch ‘The Farmer Wants a Wife?’

Sure, I say, sure.

We hug each other. It’s like old times. There’s a tear in his rheumy eyes.

I got time now.

I go to the old bookshelf. It’s pretty dusty. Don’t get much reading done when you’re out and about.

And I grab one, that big Collected Graham Greene

and we settle into ‘The Quiet American’.

There are some stories you can’t read enough.

You could do with a shower, I say. So could you, says hermit.

We give each other a playful punch. It’s like old times.

I watch his hands, his fingers twitching. He pulls back the curtain, peers outside.

Do you reckon we could ,,,,?.

Why not? I say. It’s the season for it.

We stoke up the fire, sit side by side, writing our shivery little three liners, haiku on wind, frost, ice, hailstones.

Winter, you’re not all bad.

Are You Lost?

Are you lost? he asks.

I don’t know, I say. I think so.

What’s that bracelet around your ankle?

Oh that, it’s a monitoring device in case I get lost.

So are you?

I guess so. I was wandering like Wordsworth. Only he saw daffodils.

So what do you see?

I was just looking at the windy lake, how the waves arch like dolphins through the water and i thought of that song

What song?

The one that goes: ‘I wish I could swim like dolphins can swim’

You see that?

Yes, don’t you? Excuse me, that’s my phone ringing. I really have to take this. Alright, alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m coming right now. I have to go, I say.

So you’re okay then?

Yes, Someone’s waiting for me, waiting out the front.

That’s good. Anyone you know?

Yes, someone I know very well. But it’s okay.. He found me. We lose each other from time to time.

Pardon?

Soon as I get home, I’ll lock myself in. for the night. That’s when my mother used to wander too. It’s for my own good.

The Broom Closet

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The phone rings.

Me: [chirpy] Oh Hi Lynne. Good to hear from you.

L: Oooops. Sorry, John. Didn’t mean to phone you. I pressed the wrong button.

Me: [shoulders slump] Don’t feel bad, Lynne. Most people who phone me don’t mean to.

L: Oh.

Me: It’s alright. I’ll have a little weep in the broom closet and get over it. Until the next time, that is. But just don’t ask me ….

L: [sounding worried]. What?

Me: RUOK?

L: Well are you?

I hang up.