Us by David Nicholls

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Light travels differently in a room that contains another person; it reflects and refracts so that even when she was asleep or silent I knew that she was there.

Things are vying for my attention. There’s a lizard on my belly. And a boy beside me playing guitar. And another boy in the toy room playing the piano. And a cat is on the floor glaring up at the lizard with blood in her eyes. And my fingers are a tad numb, because arctic air has arrived. And I want a fire in the fireplace but that requires effort. And I suspect my husband has fallen asleep putting the youngest boy to bed.

The lizard seems to like the guitar. I don’t know much about lizards and this one isn’t very emotionally accessible, but he does have definite negative reactions none of which he’s showing right now. He’s just turned his head to look in the direction of the guitar like he’s trying to get a purchase on the tune. Oh. He just walked away. Toward my typing fingers, which can’t be a good idea. Oh, up my arm a bit. He’s looking at me. Is that blood in his eye? Is he mistaking me for a cricket?

I like the lizard, but I don’t know what to do with him. His body type doesn’t lend itself to petting, or snuggling, or tossing a frisbee towards. I haven’t seen him grin. We haven’t yet found things in common. I’m sure it will come.

Ah. Tallis had to come rescue the lizard. It displayed a burst of emotion and ended up on my shoulder, from where Tallis plucked it. Him. His name is Bill. He was a Christmas lizard, and though I don’t yet feel a bond with him, I do appreciate his low level of maintenance.

Welcome, Bill. May you thrive under benign neglect.

3 thoughts on “Us by David Nicholls

  1. Tonight, unlike many recent nights, I did *not* fall asleep putting the B to bed. I thought about it. But I heard the L playing and I missed you and I knew you’d be bending light downstairs in that way I adore. So I came back down.

  2. I’ve been offline for awhile, working on writing on paper and such, and now I’ve returned to your beautiful writing and it makes me so happy. Thank you. And welcome Bill! And Happy New Year!

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