“OK, Google. Remind me to buy a turkey tomorrow.”
“What?” I call from the bathroom, as I rinse toothpaste down the sink. It’s bedtime. Denny doesn’t hear me. I bend over to put my toothbrush in the cabinet under the sink and realize he is not talking to me.
I remember that Denny asked me earlier if he should buy a turkey. Turkey is on sale. He is talking to his new toy, a computerized watch.
I walk into the living room. Between the bathroom and the living room I’ve decided. Tomorrow I am going to start that book.
At a writer’s conference I showed an editor an excerpt from my manuscript, well, actually three excerpts. I had three segments ready so I thought I might as well go for broke.
She looked up at me over her reading glasses. I’m sitting there sizing her up, not sure what to make of her. But I’m looking at her grey hair and thinking she should change hairdressers.
“You know what I’m going to tell you?”
Well, no, I don’t. I wait.
“Forget the book.”
I stare at her. Fifteen years of work. She wants me to forget it.
“Start over. Start something new.”
Simple. Just like that.
I break the news to Denny about my plan to start a new book. Maybe I’ll start writing a page a day, I tell him
“If you’re really serious about writing, it would be a good idea to set aside a specific time each day to do it. If you write a page a day, you could have a book finished in one year. It’s good to be consistent and write at the same time each day. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish if you do that.”
I mumble my agreement and start for the bedroom and then impulsively I break my routine. Instead of going to bed, I walk back to the living room, sit down in the corner in my favorite upholstered chair and open a book.
Denny is turning off the lights. He asks me to close the window blind behind me. He turns off my reading lamp. The room goes dark.
“I’m going to read for awhile.”
“Oh,” the light goes back on.
Denny sits down with his laptop across from me on the sofa. There is a square faux leather ottoman between us. We both prop our feet up on the ottoman.
After a couple of minutes he interrupts me and asks if he can show me a two minute video. I oblige him and he angles his computer so I can see. Two guys are sitting on coolers opposite each other taking turns putting an elastic band around the middle of a watermelon. Suddenly the watermelon explodes and they go flying off their seats. Denny laughs heartily, even though he’s seeing it the second time.
A few minutes later I ask Denny if I can read something to him. It’s a funny part but he doesn’t even crack a smile.
“Can you read that again?” he asks me.
I read the two sentences again. Now he breaks out laughing.
I try to focus on my writing but before long I get up and go sit with Denny on the sofa.
“It’s bedtime,” he tells me as I lean against him.
He puts his arm around me. I rest my head against his bare chest and feel the soft coarseness of his greying chest hair on my cheek. I look over at his computer. I see a picture of a phone.
“How long can you look at the Nexus 6?” I figure this is what he has been doing all evening, all week. He’s been talking about the Nexus 6 for over a week now.
“It’s not the Nexus, it’s the case,” he closes his laptop. OK, so he was studying a case for a cell phone.
I snuggle up and get cozy next to him.
“We might fall asleep here,” he says after a minute.
“Wouldn’t this be a great way to fall asleep? I just want to let those little endorphins kick around for awhile.”
Two seconds later a hot flash hits me full force and I forget all about endorphins or snuggling or even sleeping. I head to the bedroom to strip.
Denny follows me.
I look around the room. “I need to find my laptop,” I tell Denny, urgently.
He returns to the living room to search for my laptop. I’m pulling my nightgown over my head when he comes in and hands me my laptop. I put it on the bed. I’m so hot I wonder how my body can sustain the temperature. I feel like I’ve over-stayed my time limit in a hot tub.
“Where’s my laptop cord?”
Denny is standing in our tiny bedroom where there isn’t even room to pass and I realize he is waiting to kiss me goodnight.
“I don’t know. Where did you use it last?”
I have no idea. I look around helplessly, “I can’t find it.” Hot flashes make me desperate.
Dutifully I turn to him and let him kiss me goodnight. He kisses my forehead. He doesn’t venture to my lips. I am distracted, but not so distracted as to not notice, so I kiss his lips.
Then I see a bit of cord peeking out from under a cardboard box on the bed packed with stuff I plan to take to the thrift store. With extreme relief I pull it out.
Denny is as relieved as I am. He turns toward the living room and says goodnight. My hot spells, along with my erratic sleeping patterns, are too much for him. He has taken to sleeping on the sofa. At least one of us will have a good night. I prop myself up in bed with pillows and reach for my laptop.