The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 74
A brilliant, private email in response to mine about what packing for space travel might actually mean succinctly captures an hour, maybe, of her average morning: coffee, hair, make up, pets, biz emails, ISS feeds, tonight’s menu, fading dream smell, herbal infusion gulp gulp picks up keys recites mantra as elevator door opens, closes, then, as usual, she apologizes for bothering me with an email.
I write back, knowing she’s gone, (‘course there’s always her mobile): “Stop. Write anytime. As much as you want. It isn’t possible for you to bother me.”
Oops. Eight emails inside a three hour window, most having something to do with the radically organic food, exotic supplements and spices she bought at market, photos included.
So I respond, trying to back her off the accelerator. “You know, the American poet, e.e. cummings, once said that he felt it was a complete day’s work if he included a comma, took it out, then put it back in again.”
No response. Probably off to work.
The next day, the oddest thing happened. We didn’t communicate. Not once. It was the first day since we’d met that we hadn’t spoken to each other.
The next morning was odd on odd. Her email read: “Hey! What is this?! Look! No more commas!!!” Attached was a photo of a store window mannequin in a stylish woman’s T-shirt with sequined lettering. It read:
YOU ARE THE FRENCH TO MY TOAST.
Well, the toast part was sweet. But the rest? Was she upset because we’d gone a day without talking? Is that what the comma ref meant? Sweetheart, I thought, just switching styles isn’t something that comes real natural to me, yeah?
But I didn’t respond. Not for hours. I paced back and forth instead, unsure if I’d understood her POV accurately. Seemed off, out of character. She needed me, sure, got that, but where, precisely, had I screwed up? Was she suggesting I undergo an experimental procedure to alter some inherent mannerism?
Truth is it felt like a social networking protocol false positive mixed with crossed signals, a little lunar induced paranoia or…
Oh. Wait. Fiddlesticks. Of course. Now I get it. It was all about our “double muse” relationship, and the fact I’d posted a collaborative piece the night before, then abruptly taken it down.
“Sorry, baby,” I finally wrote. “Wasn’t completely happy with the lighting.”
Juliette: But it was wonderful!
Me: It’ll be more wonderful tonight. Promise. No more commas.