Friday, October 15, 2010


Things I found cleaning out the bookshelf by my desk in the studio:

A book of 37 cent Christmas stamps.

An ipod adapter cord in its box, never opened.

A bag of pennies and the unused paper sleeves to put them in, which I got from the bank years ago.

Doctor appointment reminder cards from 2007.

2 type-2016 batteries--for what, I don't know--in the package, with notation, "Best if installed by 2006."

Note from the vet during the time of José's old age, reading: "1. Benedryl liquid 5 mg orally twice a day (bedtime). 2. Hot water bottle, in bed."

1 set of ear buds with the bud parts pulled off.

1 set of headphones which I knew on sight did not work at all.

Tiny sketches for a set of paintings I thought about painting 5 years ago.

1 folded-up note from Stephen on the occasion of our 2nd anniversary... Which anniversary, I'm not sure. Not wedding. Maybe first meeting. More likely from the content of the note, our first e-mailing. Which is coming up again next Thursday. Which, in a way, started everything off in the studio because the big clean-out was necessitated by a big move-around which was necessitated by the fact that I bought Stephen a big, new easel for painting, and that thing was not going to fit in the studio if we didn't get rid of and move some things. And the reason I'd decided to buy him the easel was two reasons--to celebrate the recent developments in his art career and to celebrate the up-coming anniversary of our first e-mail.

What Stephen in his note calls, "that awkward, little e-mail that started everything."

The note was written not long after I'd left for work on that earlier anniversary, Stephen sitting in bed with coffee and Kitty burrowed under the covers with him.

"You left about a half hour ago, looking fresh and pretty, almost unbearably lovable. You almost forgot your earrings--again. Your hood was wedged under your coat--again..."

When I look around, this studio, and the moving around that happened last night, is all about our lives together. Stephen all order and smartness, getting everything fitted into its new spot right. And our gifts to each other: From me to him, the easel. From him to me, the desk space I was going to give up to accommodate the easel, for me to keep even though I do my writing out in the family room, for me to keep even just to use to pile my stuff and forget about it.


  1. From the husband: This is really lovely, sweetie. Clever and touching.

    From the small-time, live-in literary critic: Beautifully done! Well-constructed, smart, wry, and thoughtful.

  2. and let the mother, and mother-in-law, just say that there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't think of that "awkward little email" and feel such thankfulness that it was sent.. that it was answered... that you two happened...