the project has moved



And after the Intermission IV

Then it is the day before she returns. I haven't written much here, I realize. I thought I would, but maybe I am not so interesting on my own. I look over the words I managed. Short sentences. Empty sentences. When I talk with her the night before her flight, she says, "Will you be sad if I don't come back?" She uses the wrong tense, and laughs. I will be a better husband, I say.

The cat has grown frustrated with me. He won't let me brush him anymore. At first it was fine; then it was bribes; now it is not at all. He throws up a hairball on the carpet. He doesn't understand the concept of serves him right. He simply sadly meows.

Tomorrow I will rent a car and pick her up. I will not say how much I missed her. I have said it already and it sounds overblown, and she will be there and missing her is the only thing I will miss, if anything. A strange concept, but this is the experience: I will struggle to talk when what I will want to do is to throw myself into her presence, and when I can talk I will tell a story of us--how we made it through five weeks and grew stronger for it--instead of how those five weeks have weakened me until the first good look at her, in the flesh, will bring my loneliness crumbling down, to a bedrock of longing.


And after the Intermission III

As I'm keeping myself busy I start to feel okay, then less okay, then circular. After a weekend of this circle she calls with the news in Boston. The water is undrinkable, she says. I already know this: the "cuff link" on the pipe has broken and the clean water has spilled into the unswimmable Charles River at 8 million gallons an hour. I wonder how Cathreen knows this. She says, "Don't give to Boise." Our cat cries in the background. I hear they are sending people out on the streets to announce the bad tap water, because if you came home and weren't lonely and always online, how would you know? I hold the phone to Boise's ear and he looks confused. I take showers and watch my skin for a yellow glow. Soon Cathreen calls to tell me the water is okay again.

"How?" I ask.

She says, "I know everything."

I ask her how things are, and when she says they could be better, I ask if she wants to come home. We talk about our two little nephews that are driving her crazy there. She says she went to the fortune teller and I should watch out for stairs and cars. Just for this month and next, she says. Of course I imagine falling down the outside steps into traffic. She says something about babies. She says, "when I come home."

She says she knew about the water because she is always watching. I imagine her searching the internet for the things that are affecting me here.