My child fell from a cliff and for a moment it was true, for years when I thought of it it seemed to have happened, that slipping of small shoes. That it would not happen in fact was theoretical, so I avoided all outings where such a thing might occur. In this manner I continued, keeping my child in the shallow end, scanning the landscape for strangers, cutting the grapes in half. At night I would kiss my child's dark cheek and whisper I love you and will never leave you and this was true, yet I did not believe it entirely.
The man across the room must be funny because the people at his table keep laughing at him, except for the children at the other end of the table who are coloring on their placemats and paying no attention to the adults.
I tell my husband to be quiet so I can listen. He lifts a forkful of salad to his open mouth and holds it there. I know he means for me to smile at him but I'm trying to hear the man at the other table and I raise my pointer finger to indicate just-a-second.
The man is saying something about beef knishes. On his empty bread plate he pretends to wrap dough around an invisible filling, his movements exaggeratedly dainty. When he finishes talking the people at the table look at him expectantly. The man slaps his hand to his cheek and they laugh.
The waiter brings us more wine and a slice of pineapple cake to share. The restaurant is becoming crowded and loud. A baby is throwing pasta on the floor. I look over at the funny man and he's talking and pointing to his elbow. People are laughing.
My husband's been going to firefighter training in the evenings and we haven't talked much this week. I leave him a good morning note every day. He irons his uniform late at night when I'm in bed.
I ask my husband to tell me something funny that happened to him lately. He can't think of anything, he says.
I tell my husband that my mammogram results came in. Something irregular but probably nothing. A little biopsy on Tuesday. I'm not worried. My husband looks at me and doesn't say anything. I wish he'd say something. I bug my eyes out at him. He laughs.
"That Dream": I had a nightmare...
"Funny": A meditation on gesture and response.