Never Marry an Artist: A Tokyo Love StoryNever Marry an Artist: A Tokyo Love Story by almcdermid
He was hunched over his coffee, looking grumpier than usual, which was quite a feat. He hadn’t seen me yet, so perhaps I could make good my escape. I hesitated a half second, but it was all it took. He’d seen me and now I was trapped. I had assented to being here by showing up. I guess I should follow through. I walked to his table and placed my knapsack on one of the vacant chairs.
“Bloody hell,” he said by way of a greeting.
“I’m going to get a coffee,” I said. “You good?” He waved me off and returned to his glowering. Apparently his skinny latte had committed some great offense and was receiving the full brunt of his icy stare. Perhaps he was trying to convert it to a Frappuccino. Perhaps he had mis-ordered and this was the source of his urgent gloom. He had called me ten minutes earlier, simply saying, ‘Can you meet me?’ ‘What? Now?’ I had asked, but he had already rung off. He knew I’d
Still Life without HenryHis glasses are there,Still Life without Henry by almcdermid
on the open book
(is it Baudelaire?),
next to the empty bottle,
but Henry has gone somewhere.
Must have gotten bored
with the book,
finished the booze,
and went off to look
for another drink,
or chase some skirt.
At a quarter past ten,
that would explain it,
though hes left
one of his shoes,
so who could say?
RememberRecall reflections, rippled waters
now bone-bare dirt and sundried sand.
Remember yellows, blues and reds
whose silken surface softly skimmed
cool water, beneathe trembling hands.
Rethink the way your waters run;
flow with yourself, your soul, your skin.
Renew that day you fell in love
with something better than you'd known,
tango with rain, waltz with the wind.
Remember now, as you did then;
The Crossroads at Forgotten Lake 1I had just passed the smallest dot on the map, a crossroads with a diner and a gas station, when the car started to overheat. I pulled over and looked under the hood. Once the steam cleared, I could see that the water pump belt had snapped. Strange. I'd check everything before starting this trip. I closed the hood and looked around. The road stretched out ahead of me, woods on either side. Looking back the way I came, I couldn't see the crossroads, but I knew I could not have come far, and I'd seen a tow truck parked next to the gas station, so I headed back. I soon passed a sign naming the town. It was shot up and rusting, but I could still read it:
Space CampHe found himself standing in their daughter's room, staring at the dusty mobile of the planets, unsure of how he's come to be there. He looked at her bed, her desk, the unfinished homework. He considered opening the window, but the thought slipped away before he could act on it.
He wandered into the living room, looked out the window. The grass needed cutting. Did it? He wasn't sure. His wife would know, but she'd already left for work. Seems she left earlier every morning and came home later each night. Another thought occurred to him, something about each in their own way, but he couldn't hold it. Perhaps she was having an affair. He wondered at how he might feel about it if she was, decided he wouldn't feel anything.
He went into the kitchen, looked at the table, littered with unopened mail. He took a bottle from the cabinet and sat down at the table. Was he starting later than yesterday or earlier? He wasn't sure it mattered. He opened the bottle, but found he'd forgotten to get a
I'm a novelist (who also writes short fiction and poetry); I take a few pictures as well. |
Current Residence: Tokyo, Japan
Favourite genre of music: ambient
Favourite photographer: numerous
Favourite style of art: conceptual, abstract, Dada
Skin of choice: deep-fried chicken
Favourite cartoon character: me
Personal Quote: If you're taking it seriously, you're doing it wrong.