By Stephen Dunn
One night they both needed different things
of a similar kind; she, solace; he, to be consoled.
So after a wine-deepened dinner
when they arrived at their house seperately
in the same car, each already had been failing
the other with what seemed
an unbearable delay of what felt due.
What solace meant to her was being understood
so well you'd give it to her before she asked.
To him, consolation was a network
of agreements: say what you will
as long as you acknowledge what I mean.
In the bedroom they undressed and dressed
and got into bed. The silence was what fills
a tunnel after a locomotive passes through.
Days later the one most needy finally spoke.
"What's on TV tonight?" he said this time,
and she answered, and they were okay again.
Each, forever, would remember the failure
to give solace, the failure to be consoled.
And many, many future nights
would find them turning to their respective sides
of the bed, terribly awake and twisting up
the covers, or, just as likely, moving closer
and sleeping forgetfully the night long.
Am still sick and cranky. Kids had a half day of school, which meant I had an insane morning trying to get three articles done, which means I had not even taken a shower by the time they arrived. Once they were here, younger son and a friend found this:
This one was quite slow and I am not sure whether that's because it's so late in the season or if it's getting ready to make itself a chrysalis and the kids interrupted it.
They put it in this bug jar along with plenty of sticks and greens.
And it lived happily in the bug jar through the afternoon while we went to the mall to get a new watch for older son, whose has been an hour behind since daylight savings started and he discovered that the time adjustment button did not work, but he refused to replace the old one because he was attached to it. My kids tend to get very, very attached to things. When evening came and it was time to let the giant caterpillar go, younger son became disconsolate. (I need to add that the reason we have gerbils now is that we previously had a hamster that we got as consolation for older son having had to let a caterpillar go under similar circumstances, and we have a second cat because the SPCA was in front of the pet store with kittens when we went to get said gerbil a new water bottle.)
Anyway, I have just come off a long night of having to remind younger son that the caterpillar would die in the bug jar and is now free to seek a life of religious fulfillment or at least to spin a chrysalis and turn into a giant moth, which we will hopefully see banging into our window soon like this one. I spent the past hour chilling out watching Rome, which had less nudity but the usual fun sexual shenanigans and a lot of very nauseating violence. Very glad I am watching this on the small screen. Max Pirkis has grown up unnervingly since Master and Commander.
I also tried to watch Veronica Mars in and around the caterpillar hysteria, but all I managed to glean was that she's with the guy I hoped she'd end up with, the guy I couldn't stand is justifying my loathing and I don't like Charisma Carpenter any better here than on any other show I've ever seen her on. This one may not be long for my regular viewing list, as I really need Wednesday nights to watch Star Trek episodes so I can review them Fridays. Oh, but I want to go downtown and see Mrs. Peel's leather pants. I still owe lots of comments and e-mails; apologies again. When my head is not so stuffed that I can't see properly I will do something about that.