|Thank you, Sizzler, for cheesy toast triangles.|
Robert couldn't remember the author who had said of growing older that he felt like a young man who had something wrong with him. The name would come to him before lunch. "Or so help me," he muttered.
Another morning of golden cheesy-toast benevolence beaming down. Limbs that sang, "Younger Than Springtime," with an off-stage whisper of, "Older than dust." Pent-up anticipation could make joints twinge, nerves jump, muscles ache. So could dancing until the sun was due, eating seven kinds of dessert after midnight and what felt like four hours of dreams for which one could not swear to being either asleep or awake. The thought that he had conquered lucid dreaming gave him a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps conquered was too strong a word, At best he had stepped from one reality into another and back again. Not quite enough to add to his CV but not nothing. He began to noodle with suppositions about a job that held lucid dreaming high on its requirements list.
But I digress, he told himself. The dance. Yes, the dance. And Gloria. Would she fall back into his arms when he reached the kitchen, missing his closeness as much as he missed hers? Would they waltz through the tearoom, delighting themselves, possibly amusing others, or would they experience that initial distance that says, "You imagined the whole thing," until each remembered they had not, in fact, imagined any of the good parts and they were all good parts.
He didn't need to decide it right that moment but Robert was considering never again washing the shirt he'd worn, never wanting to lose the scent of her, of sugar and strawberries and a summer night. It had its own fragrance, that he knew, and feared he could never catch it again if he washed it away. Then he reminded himself that fairy magic, while seeming fragile and fleeting, was really the kudzu vine that wove lives together. Meanwhile, the shirt in question could make friends with other denizens of the laundry basket. Or perhaps he would just fold it and slide it under his pillow. I am twelve years old, he thought. Lucky me.