Turning the sweating glass of juice onto the Formica table, making small, overlapping circles, “So,” she said angrily, “we’re supposed to live the rest of our lives knowing you love me and I love you and knowing that, maybe, some way, we could have been together?”
“Honey, ‘some way’ means ‘some day’ and what are we talking about here? Ten years? Twelve years? Till I’m eighty, eighty-five? I don’t have that many ‘somedays’ left.”
Stopping, we waited until the waitress set the plates before us.
Realizing, admitting, “I know there’s no way, Mitchell.” Barbara said sadly, then, turning her gaze from me, repeated, “I know there is no way.” As thought to finalize her words, she sawed a sausage in half with the edge of her fork.
Cyber Affair 18
Sunday June 20, 2009
“Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,” the moderator said, “we have seven remaining poets that have not yet read their writing. Then, when finished, the panel,” motioning to the two and tapping himself on the chest, “will confer and announce the winner.”
O’Hare Airfield, United Airlines Terminal
Sunday, June 20, 2009
The woman and man sit quietly in the United Departure Terminal.
The woman’s plane departing prior to his, the man and woman sit as closely together as the rigid seats allow.
His hand, held on her lap within her two hands, sensing the fragrance of the man’s flesh, committing all to memory, the woman’s head rests upon the shoulder of the man.
His cheek resting upon the head of the woman, sensing the fragrance of the hair of the woman, committing all to memory.
For fear of one word bursting the barely held dam of their emotion, neither speak.
“United flight 233 to New York City,” the woman behind the flight counter announced, “will now be boarding.”
A double line of people queued between the movable barrier and the wall.
Sitting, waiting until the line was all but through the hatchway leading to the runway of the plane...
Sighing now, standing now, walking to the hatchway, hands still held...
All words said...
Opening her hand, Barbara released Mitchell’s hand and, without a further glance, walked through the hatchway, onto the ramp leading to the plane.
Ventura County, California
August 14, 2010
“Good morning, Barbara.”
Coincidently passing by the partially open door, “Did you say something?”
“Uh...” is this a sign of old age: talking out loud when I think I’m talking to myself?
“No, Helen,” I said from behind the partially opened bathroom door.
“Hmm, I could have sworn you said, ‘good morning’.”
“Yeah, I guess I did.” So I said, “So good-morning to you, Helen.”
“You said it when we got up, but anyway, ‘good-morning’ to you, too... again.”
She was right! Barbara was right: Spotting it in my kit, seeing that I use shaving soap and brush, buying the best shaving brush they had and the best I’ve ever had during our walk on that first evening, Barbara was absolutely right because a day does not go by when, lathering my face, “Good morning, Barbara,” I whisper to my reflection. But truth be told, I do not have to shave to remember Barbara, my Barbara.
Having some idea of how long the publishing process takes, hoping that “Borders” or “Barnes & Noble” were either of the “guaranteed placement in at least one major book marketing chain.” I had been checking both local bookstores for the past two months, and today...
“Hello,” I said to the woman in ‘Information’, “I’m looking for a book of poetry by Barbara Longford.”
“One moment, Sir.” Checking the computer, “Yes, Sir.”
My heart fluttering.
“The book came in yesterday.” Pointing in the general direction of “Poetry.”
Going to the rack, looking... looking. Oh, my God! My heart thumping now, wanting to check out fast, before...
Going quickly to the counter...
“That’ll be twenty-five, fifty seven.”
Outside now, sitting in my car now, removing the book from the Barnes & Noble bag, my heart still racing, I look...
“A Three Day Lifetime”
Barbara E. Longford
Opening to the dedication page:
“Dedicated to my Chicago muse, with everlasting love.”
©April 4, 2012 / Mark M. Lichterman