Somehow, somewhere, Max got the idea that things should be easy.
And when they weren’t; God, Mercury in retrograde
and the universe were plotting against him.
After being the victim of years of these plots,
he, one day, had a realization.
Maybe, he was wrong and everything was difficult.
That was liberating, but required work.
Monica came from Munich with the baby.
And she was already pissed off.
Complained about the sheets and the pillow cases.
Max hired a cleaning lady to clean the whole house and washed the bedding two times.
She insisted, “It still smells like man head!”
Cologne was out of the question, her head would’ve exploded.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to weddings, everyone.
When will they ever learn?
Max opened her letter slowly, dreading what it might say.
It was only one page.
There were the usual turns of love and longing,
but the handwriting was sloppy and distracted.
He knew and actually was rather relieved.
Rose from volunteer to manager.
Gratified he had arrived.
Had vision and plans.
One evening the boss showed up unexpected.
Handed him a brown paper bag.
Peeked inside to see 4 wads of 100 dollar bills.
“I need you to run that through the register”, he said firmly.
“And take a little something for yourself.”
“I live the life I love and I love the life I live”, he said defiantly.
Still had to chop his own wood and carry his own water, though.
Just the way it is.
Max heard the blue jays shriek.
Sighed and felt more gratitude than remorse.
Highway bound and no one to answer to.
Blue light falling.
Ophelia hadn’t slept for months and the days all folded together like soft dough.
She spent her evenings bathed in blue flowers, playing digital roulette.
She’d gambled on him and lost everything.
Max smiled at her from across the table.
She then saw she’d also won someone who would never leave her.
Max hatched the idea with her.
For lemonade, infused with rosemary.
Could have bought lemons, but it was more romantic to steal them.
From the neighbor’s yard.
He waited until midnight, walked past the house.
Turned around and walked back.
Jumped the fence.
The sensors tripped the lights, their dog lunged, and all hell broke loose.
Max had wanted her from the first.
Your freckles and long legs haunted me.
Ophelia seemed expert at keeping men at bay.
Made me want you more.
6 month courtship.
Finally she consented to a “fling”.
He left her apartment uncertain.
13 years later he woke up next to her and counted his lucky stars.
Another couple, two more winding their way through love.
It’s hard to predict what the outcome will be.
But, they have each other. And sometimes that’s enough.