My dearest called me at work today and told me not to come home.
She said they would eat dinner for lunch - too many leftovers were making the freezer frustrating - and I could just get a bite to eat while on my artist's date.
I'm well looked after.
I left work ten minutes early (stolen fruit is sweeter) and I went to the big mall nearby, where I watch people and look at bright displays. They feed my color sweet tooth. I fed my other teeth by drifting through the food court and accepting all the samples handed to me until the right Chinese recipe caught me and I ate with my favorite implements (chopsticks) while gazing at the parade.
Later I bought a big red bath towel, rich as Croesus, and soft as a sunset hillside. The sales rep laughed as I wandered back and forth, dreaming next to different colors until I selected this one. I wandered out into the waning sun and heat, where charbroiling smells blended with passing conversations, the sounds of fountains and children's laughter. I spent time in a big bookstore, looking at a huge photo book of Italy, imagining disassembling it for my board at work, my window in my windowless office. My favorite photos were late in the day, with some things in shadow and others still in the strong hot light. I looked at books on drawing until I felt overwhelmed with a desire to come home and do my own. I strolled back through the crowds, breathless over the beauty of the sun coming over my shoulder and gilding the skin and bright summer clothes of the passersby.
I made one more stop on the way home, to buy two frames. One I used to frame my print by Marissa Lee (this one), so I can finally take it to work. The other is for a photo of our kids.
At home I dove into the drawing for a new painting, the kind of late sun scene I'm always looking for and never finding.