[37] Love Shack Maintenance, Adele Evershed

Driving out, trying to fill the day, we play the old game of taking turns calling directions at each four-way stop. These days we have less and less to tell each other so getting lost together might divert us from how lost we are at home.

We spot a field of golden grass—you insist it’s calling out to you for our picnic. I suspect it’s just because you need to pee. You always tried to make ruin of romance. I point out the sky.  It threatens rain.  You suppose if the heavens open we can take refuge on the porch of the abandoned shack next door. So we park and walk back through snags and tangles—who forgot to pack the corkscrew—why couldn’t I remember you dislike egg salad—rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.

The shack is slumped, exhausted by its long life, but still standing in spite of expectations. The striped red and green of the roof make me think of a fairground—maybe the color of a helter-skelter?

I trip over a rabbit hole and you take my hand pulling me back. My stomach drops as if I am falling again. You unroll the ugly orange blanket. It’s stained and threadbare in patches but it was a wedding present and it still does the job. Unpacking the cold box I remember it being full of special things but after all this time when I take them out I see in the end they are simple.

You tell me you’re going to open the wine by wrapping the bottle in your sweater and smacking it on the wall of the shack.

We both look in the direction of the shack and laugh.

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