Monday Short’n Sweet, from the novel “Pushing the River”

the-absinthe-drinker-1901

Dan had been visiting his sister for the past two nights, time together which generally consisted of him completing a laundry list of things she had carefully compiled. This, in turn, invariably necessitated driving around to an ungodly number of retail establishments known as “Big Box Stores” so they could gather extremely heavy things which he then used to build, fix, install, assemble, connect, secure, clean, tear down, buttress, erect, and when all else was said and done, simply move from one location to another – and often back again if she decided the original arrangement was somehow superior. In other words, the exact kind of familiar encounter that led Dan to toss an uncertain number of beers down his throat as he drove the hours’ distance to meet Madeline at the bar where she sat contemplating her next move with the uber-chipper bar patron on the stool beside her.

Dan swooped in on Madeline, slumped over in creeping despair on her stool, as if he’d been lost and adrift for endless days at sea, and Madeline was an emerald isle with Stella Artois running through the cascading streams.

He swung her stool around and nuzzled his face into the crook of her neck, planting kiss after kiss. Enlacing the fingers of their two hands together, he bobbed his head, moved his hips and feet about, and performed a wild giddy drunken dance, all while ordering two beers at once, the first of which he emptied in a single gulp. He grabbed the other bottle off the bar, lifted Madeline from her seat, and kissed her forehead between head bobs, dancing all the while.

the-absinthe-drinker-portrait-of-angel-fernandez-de-soto-1903

Both paintings by Pablo Picasso

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