timing [draft, notes]

Shower revelations, that’s what they were.  Every single time that man stepped out of his clothes and into that piping hot deluge – where there were no pens, or paper, or typewriter keys, the ideas began to flow to him like lava from an erupting volcano.   Mount Vesuvius had nothing on his big noggin’ when it was time to wash.  She chuckled, wondering to herself how many little odd facts she knew about him.  She liked being the keeper of treasures such as these. Then she wondered how many of them she might never get the chance to discover, and the smile faded from her face.

……

One time, he had leapt out from behind the shower curtain, jabbering to himself about some line from A Streetcar Named Desire.  He had a thing about Marlon Brando.  A theory.  He believed that through nearly imperceptible nuances in his acting and his speech – even and especially when he appeared to be chewing his face – Marlon Brando was trying to communicate secret messages to the audience.  If Clint was right, Brando was either the greatest actor who ever lived or perhaps one of the most fucked up and tragic.  Either way, it would make a great story line for a book he was working on and he needed to write it down right that instant, even if it meant dripping soap and water all over her new faux sheepskin rug.

Another revelation came in the middle of the night, after showering to wash off a disappointing day of staring at his computer screen and all the plot gaps he couldn’t seem to fill.  Angie was fast asleep.  He woke her, of course.  Major revelations needed to be shared with some urgency, otherwise they lost their potency.  Bleary-eyed but amused, she sat up to listen to his impassioned speech which was about, of all things, timing.

So many of their conversations centered around the whens of their relationship.  The past, the present, the future, that time at the bar when they kissed for the first time, that almost-time in that parallel universe when they got married and invited the goat minister Chagall was so fond of painting. All their failures and successes as a couple had always been chalked up to timing.  But now, tonight, since the shower, that meant something totally different than it had  in the 32 previous conversations.

This time it was different.  This time it made sense.

If it all came down to timing, that was terrific news, Clint whispered. He laid down on the bed and put his mouth next to Angie’s right ear, speaking into it like it was a microphone.

She scrunched up her face and laughed.

He continued.  It was never going to be the right time, he said.  In a roundabout way, that meant that any time – every time – they were together – was the right time.   If it was never the right time, then it was always the right time!  It was physics, he was pretty sure, but he’d have to Google it in the morning.  So this meant that every conversation, every text, every email, every chance encounter in a bar was an opportunity. And yeah, they missed a few hundred opportunities so far but the opportunities kept coming.

****

Angie had searched for meaning her whole life.  She sought it out in the patterns ants made on the sidewalk when they were in formation.  She looked for it between stanzas of her favorite poems.  She even tried to make up meaning when none could be found.  What she had learned, in her four decades of life on this planet, is that sometimes there is no meaning.  Nothing obvious or tangible anyway.  The mystic inside her wouldn’t allow her to completely dismiss the notion of a grand universal symphony, that everything worked together for some glorious outcome, even if a lot of times she felt like a kid sitting in the orchestra pit whose only view was of the inside of the tuba.  Clint’s attempt to ascribe meaning to his and her screw-ups in such a romantic way was probably her favorite thing about him.  She recognized it.  She kissed him softly and laid back down to sleep.

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