The chase, the dance, the tease, the parlay

Standing over the sink, washing the crock pot slow cooker, Lee reflected upon his reflection in the kitchen window, subconsciously counting the number of three-petaled leaves of the Oxalis plant growing in a pot on the windowsill.

He felt crawling sensations under the skin of his ankles, wondering if blood clots were working their way through his body.

The house shook.

Roarous thunder of a close lightning strike rattled the window panes.

Lee lifted the ceramic pot from the sink and set it on the counter to dry.

Water dripped from the eaves into an old wash bucket outside, pinging the rim randomly.

A cat meowed at his feet.

Lee saw a smile in his thoughts.


She rattled him, in a good way.

Her innate nerdiness, wrapped in the body of a socially-beautiful woman, pushed his creativity in many directions.

Her eyes, her smile, her body, pushed his thoughts in another direction.

He bent down and petted the cat, named Merlin by the Cornish Rex breeder, but his daily feline companion wanted more…a spoonful of cream cheese from the fridge, most likely.

“Patience, Merlin, I’m almost done.”

He scrubbed a ladle in the sink, removing last night’s dinner of chicken fricassee, cleansed it with soap, and cleaned it with running water.

He stared at his ghostly reflection, seeing his childhood, teenage and young adult selves staring back. After 20 years, he still was not used to the middle-aged man looking at him now.

One whole dance, one partner at a time. That was tonight’s goal. Broaden his horizons.

If Guinevere was there, fine, he would ask her for a dance and set his longterm goals in motion — Mars exploration and settlement, a Martian hillside his gravesite, his body recycled for the Martian colony’s future — ask her if she had considered the possibilities of solar system travel.

The rain intensified. The house lights flickered.

Lee turned off the water tap, pulled a spoon from the dish drainer, scooped a dollop of cream cheese from a container in the refrigerator, fed and then picked up Merlin, heading for the living room.

Time to check the calendar, see how many days were left before a fully functional repair bot the size of Kirobo would help populate the advance party onboard an exploration ship bound for Mars.

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