2. (cont’d.)

I open my mail, and already I have to smile. I click on your name, and there you are, measuring the secret distances between my words, the hidden associations, then snapping your folding ruler shut like a handyman, smug with bemusement. I’ve never even heard your voice, but I can already hear the nasal Viennese, the flattened vowels. I laugh. We’re both supposed to be working, we’re both on deadline, but it’s so much more fun to misbehave, play hooky for a change. You test the waters of my jealousy, disconcerted that I don’t bat an eyelash. I’m less coy than you think possible; you “test my mettle” and I patiently, maddeningly no doubt, elucidate the mechanisms that have long since been disengaged. I am a Jack-in-the-Box who no longer pops out, a defective Juliette-in-the-Box, a dented can on the back of the shelf.

“Are you translating?  You’re not, you monkey, because I see you smiling.”

4 comments
  1. “Talking to Mother,” a provisional title. The entries (and comments) scroll from the bottom up.

  2. suefojt said:

    What a nice surprise in my email. Is this an excerpt from “A Lesser Day”
    ?

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