Besties

RMPliehere

No, you cannot have the code to my library card.

Ridiculous- no one opens my mail without asking.

What? you want me to give you the password to my Facebook account? Aren’t we already friends? and doesn’t my profile already acknowledge “married for two plus decades?”

You have my body. You have my time. You have my whereabouts; we are linked on that app that traces my trips to the grocery, the local pub, the carpool craziness that most call parenting.

Yes, I was out with the girls until 11 at bookclub. You might remember I also arrived after 9 since I had to put the kids to bed and adjusted my leave time to your altered return time from that business trip.

Yes, I was hoping to go to the weekend shopping trip and getaway in Chicago in October. No, I don’t suppose it is critical. I’m sure they’ll go again next year.

Yes, the boss is taking us out in a limo to dinner on the west side to celebrate the end of tax season. No, spouses weren’t invited. I know your boss invited spouses. I’m not sure what I can do about this. Yes, I think I should go. No, I’m sorry I’m not going to ask if you can attend.

Wine club is not a good thing? I should disband? I started this group. It sets a bad precedent for the kids? Yes, I am aware of how much the BAC is for DUI. No, I don’t think there will be a problem, but I cannot host every tasting session? Yes, I know you don’t enjoy beer or wine and correct, this isn’t a couples club.

Yes, I’ve heard Joe and Sue go out to events without each other. Yes, I heard he took a trip to Vancouver last fall and she decided to stay and go to her sisters scrapbook event in Minneapolis. Sure, he goes out for happy hour on Wednesdays. I’m pretty sure she goes on Thursday nights. That seems weird? Well, they each have different friends, yes.  I think they are ok with it. I think they are ok, really.

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He believed they should be best friends. She didn’t measure up; this she knew. 

 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of the web.

 

Get Out

RMPtravel

Traveling with a partner used to be a balance. A juggling act. A precarious tippy toe around minefields and mayhem.

How many carry on bags, jackets, spare itineraries and pieces of paperwork are necessary for the walk from the parking garage to seat 17A and 17B on the late morning flight to Vegas?

How many times do you have to go back in and check that the toilet is flushed, add another t-shirt  to the twenty or print out a map of the airport before the plan to leave early becomes the plan to get to the gate before the doors close?

How much grousing has to be done about daytime surface lot parking rates and how many items need to be stuffed into my carry on to prevent that embarrassing situation where suitcase contents have to be pared down and redistributed to avoid paying more for the main luggage?

Worse, how loud does the haggling have to be at the desk when one needs to express issue with the delay in boarding the Gold level travelers before the Silver level?

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Get your travel on. Leave that hassle at home. Upgrade made. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of the web.

 

 

 

Our Hours

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At the karaoke bar near the lakeside resort, she sits facing him, her legs apart, draped over his, comfortable in the closeness, her toes dangle, kick out, keeping time with the music.

The bartender delivers on the Irish Car Bomb and laughs when they make a mess and they give it right back, teasing her, tell her they will lick it up rather than let it go to waste with the wipe of the bar rag.

They sit. They dance. They play.

They joke about anything. They talk to anyone. And they talk with each other.

Strangers come in to their space. Men touch her hair, high-five her to feel her skin, lean in. Women remark on their energy, take notes, ask for history and stats and try to soak in their heat.

They don’t see the magic around them. They don’t see much at all. They feel. They feel it. They blatantly deny they are husband and wife, insisting on lovers, a far better claim than the title the rule-makers tend to admire.

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The hours pass. They look up, disturbed, rather bewildered, upon hearing last call. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of the web.

 

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Boots?

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She’s headed to Nashville on a road trip,  a belated launch of the new year postponed by these things we call living and working and simply keeping up. The bags aren’t packed yet- there’s still 12 hours before leave time!- and let’s be honest, who cares what is in the suitcase when it’s all about the music and having a working pen handy in case of a brush with stardom.

All the worlds problems will be solved on the highway or they will be left behind in the dust, damn them all.

The sidekick traveler on her adventure is amusing, has planned ahead with snacks and great tunes and has his hand on her thigh. They have taken turns riding shotgun before, once to take in a last minute Joan Jett concert four states away and once with a boat and a camper and an Island and a cooler full of beer.

While out and about they find little bars and restaurants and adventures and people find them. At the oldest creperie in Chicago someone leans in to ask how long they have known each other and comment on the connection they feel between the two, feel from across the room!  It has distracted them from their savory crepes and been the topic of envious conversation for the entire breakfast.

A night out is no different. They don’t have to journey to foreign lands or across borders to get the looks and attract the questions. They have stopped counting the number of times someone walks up, touches a shoulder or shakes a hand and tries to pull the secrets they must be keeping because clearly this couple is doing something right, something natural, something beautiful and the aura is all around them, a bubble of energy and tension of the right kind, an energy most want to tap, and trap and contain for personal use.

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Has the map and mindset. Will travel, needs boots. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of the web.

Make Way

RMPclifftree

If I wake up tomorrow and am nowhere, does that mean I haven’t been heading somewhere? The map unfolds itself in the signs of the day to day. While making a dinner for two, I am led to a cooking class. While cutting the mango I long for a return to Hawaii.  At karaoke night, the sounds of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the soles of her shoes,” adds adds a ticket on my living list, resigning myself to get there to hear him before he is gone.

Before we are gone.

Resisting the label of journey, it keeps finding me. I shove it out  of mind along with the self-help aisle and the therapy couch; I’d rather rely on horoscopes and palm readers.

I spin my wheels in the daily carpool, in the grocery trip, again! I spin resolutions from New Years to the time when the leaves fall but aren’t measured by fractions of inches. How many  inches of dead leaves does it take to predict long winters of delusions about meeting someone’s eyes across the table, the stories of my heart and head locked away behind them for safer keeping than the present season affords?

There’s a time for content leisure, a time for acceptance and grace. And there’s a time for growing older with the smug smile and declarations of no regrets.

Meanwhile, there’s reflection and challenges to grow, in some way, any way that defies the restrictions of discontent bred by unknown details that escape understanding. Too close to the cause, habits fed by old comforts and limitations, I stretch arms overhead,my back arches, my legs reach long, my toes point, then curl toward the end of the bed, sheets askew.

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“You look good in bedsheets, love,” he says. She wonders why anyone dresses at all. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of the web.

Beauty

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Theresa and I arrive late, giggling, a little tipsy from cocktails prior to the start.

The group is small, the room is long and narrow, bare, a few chairs in front of a countertop, the ceilings high, the air not filled a delectable aroma of any sort.

To the right sits a couple, not talkative, vegans we learn later when they decline the tasting of the dish with egg.

In the back row, one man, sitting alone, in a slump, looks lethargic, very weak, perhaps from hunger, we wonder.

And another man sits, waiting, with long legs, a man who carries a scent, the fresh depth of soap, layered with leather and cut with citrus, green grass and perhaps the tang of common maleness, the scent of Tom Hardy I’d once followed through an airport terminal just to identify which tie-wearing man had learned how to smell so available.

T and I sit down, after much ruffling of papers, much wiggling to the front, much jockeying to sit where we can both see the presentation AND accommodate my now keen interest in capturing more of the scent and some of the attention, maybe even the touch, perhaps a brush of our elbows, a random hand on my thigh, oh yes, the long boned, beautiful hand connected to the man smelling so edible, sitting to the front left with the wood of his chair pressed directly to mine might reach out to my person.

Amidst half-hearted apologies for our tardy to the chef and with my olfactory senses swooning in the presence of the stranger, our entrance to sushi class is met with a combination of raised eyebrows and relief from the man standing in front wearing pristine whites, wielding a sharp paring knife in his right hand and waving the cover of a one-quart saucepan in his left.

He knew, and we knew,  we were the balance needed for this silent room.

We were perfectly interactive as we had demonstrated with our hellos to the group and our eye contact with the chef and our questions about how much we had missed and though he was silent in word, he was obvious in face, clearly revealing his hopes to trade our admiration of his art for his appreciation of our boisterous commentary amongst this meagre assembly of all-too-quiet pupils. The fine artistic skills he had been hired to demonstrate and inspire in the perfect construct of his beautiful rolls of sushi were not wasted on this evening.

Theresa and I intended to be amused and amusing. Chef Mike intended to amuse and amaze.

Ah, sushi Chef Mike. Let us take in the man.

We could tell he was not cooking at all- he was creating. He was so tall, so thin, his white slacks slipped down his narrow hips and despite the brown belt cinched tight and his sleeves rolled up to show the burn marks on the exposed bones of his wrists and forearms, here was a lean man of serious intent.

The art he was going to create for us was his focus and was as good of an explanation as any as to why he didn’t carry the heft of a typical chef.  Clearly, he wasn’t cooking to eat, instead he was creating food to inspire respect for the theatre of assembly and the application of the colors and the placement, the crisp alignment between the fragrant rice or the seaweed wrap, all simply a bonus for the tongue which should burst, if he had planned well in matching bounty to the symmetry captured by the eye inside the circumference of his rolled masterpieces.

Chef Mike was a not just a perfectionist, he was an admirer of the end result, a man who nearly cooed when he saw the cut roll met his mind’s imagined sculpture. In the course of the evening we watched him slice a shrimp into six paper thin pieces to layer inside, nestled between julienned peppers and cucumber and scallion. He used a fish knife, razor sharp, flexible and mastered by his hand, to meticulously turn the tiniest piece of vegetable into seven. His hands waved over the construction with flamboyant gestures.  At times, he would stand back, his knees would bend, a genuflect of sorts to the beauty of the vision laid on the plate for us to imitate, then to taste, then to fear as it it became obvious at the contrast revealed in our feeble attempts to recreate his rolls.

We teased him about the speed of his assembly and humbled by his intentions to turn mere root vegetables into bites of beauty, we teased him further about his impeccable knife skills, his perfect sticky rice and his effortless combination of just the right amount of sweet with sour, savory with salty.

We were smitten with his raised eyebrows, his faked nonchalance when the group admitted we were ruined now for any of the local sushi spots and declared we would need to learn to do it this way, at home- or never eat it again!

Chef Mike’s mischievous grin emerged after accolades. He knew he was asking too much of us, but he was willing to play along with our interest in learning to make sushi and we in turn, played along in our deprecating commentary about our poor final products but swooped in to taste his offering knowing that this was the only time we would have Chef Mike cooking in this intimate setting, just for us, these wretched non-enlightened sushi consumers sitting hip to hip, strangers waiting to turn a class of food with friends into connections worthy of the scents and flavors now mingled in our memories.

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She met him in sushi class. His scent stole her mind. His hand secured her thigh. Foodies, forever searching for the right moments to pair breaking bread with conversations and real food followed by sublime dessert selections of the connecting kind. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. March 16, 2017. Images courtesy of my kitchen.

Cradled

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Fold me under into your body, knees drawn to my chest, your arm closed around my center, hand nestled between breasts.

Tuck your knees tight behind mine, press thighs to my longest limbs, your foot entwines to knot and lock your warmth into my bones.

Your chin rests on my head, your shoulder under my ear, your arm extends to the edge of the bed and we embrace the goodness of bare skin and timed heartbeats and slumber.

 

Adored, enveloped, warmed. She rests. 

 

#for Reticent Mental Property.