What We Mean When We Say We’re in Love

What we Mean When we Say We're in Love

The swan came to the pond nearly a year after Irene left with Waterman. Mrs. Tice called David. “There’s a new swan on the pond. Take a look out your window.”

David frowned. He hated her pity. Despite that, he opened the draperies Irene had selected and looked out. It was a cool morning and he had felt chilly when he awakened and had turned up the heat. He should have opened the drapes then because the windows had steamed up. He wiped a couple of windowpanes with his sleeve.

“Okay, I see the bird. What shall I do now?”

“Nothing, silly man. I’m reminding you birds were your earliest subjects. I have your cranes in my sitting room. You told me about your childhood book, remember? The Ugly Duckling.

Embarrassed, David realized he didn’t need to suspect pity from Mrs. Tice or anyone. He wallowed in his own self-pity. “Yes, of course. I forget, but usually just for a moment.” They laughed, sharing an inside joke between a young—or was that now—a middle aged artist and his older, idolizing patron. Mrs. Tice had assured him, absentmindedness was the prerogative of an artist.

The Thousand Mile Stare