These are stories about men in love, sports and flowered neckties.
There is a couple. They live in a yurt in the desert. He is a monk. They made a vow never to stray more than fifteen feet away from each other. If she goes to the washroom in an airport, he stands by the entrance. If they cannot be seated together on an airplane, they do not get on it. If he has a persistent, knocking shot of brilliance in the middle of the night, they both trudge the one hundred feet to his study. They wear robes. They do not have running water. They have many disciples. He has been shunned because the other monks presume the relationship to be sexual. There is a photograph of them in the wind not touching.
A man with a scar and the middle name Galore sent me a letter about wrestling, ears and Church rectories.
The other night, a man at a bar said when I walked in: I bet she can read look she wears glasses. And when I sat down almost beside him, he asked what is your favourite sport? I hesitated. Sports are something other people do. The man had a round face the colour of concrete. I said windsurfing. I did not say that it was because once I had windsurfed across a lake when I was twelve and thought I might lift off. (An uncle did the same route while holding a glass of wine. An aunt did it in her white bra and underwear.) The cement man said I worked for the guy who invented the mast, guy made a fortune. The mast joins the sail to the board. This: like the printing press, like gunpowder. The cement man did the inventor’s bathroom in his house on Poplar Plains Road. All of the fixtures were 22 carat gold. When I was a child and heard carat, I heard ‘carrot.’ Like you?
Last night I had the If I was rich conversation with a man in a hallway in a suit and what I guessed was an expensive tie. He had fruit in the bottom of his glass. I told him that I if I was rich I would have an art collection and a place outside the city that I could retreat to. He wanted an island. South. But vacations made him restless. He could stand a few days at most. This morning, I thought about If I was rich again. Answering the needs of our families went unspoken. Now I would buy time. Time to read a thousand books that loom like intimacies I did not chase down but should have.