‘Here Mackham!’ Molly calls and ‘Here I am, poor Molly,’ he replies.
And there is no bitter blaming between them of the kind my wife Molly and I now engage in, such as – ‘Don’t tell me that I’m wrong! Can’t you just say you disagree?’
Since we live in the city, as does Mackham, it’s no trouble to run out and do an errand on foot. And one afternoon, when I left home to steer clear of them – a baby in a stroller rolled by with a crisp attitude that I took to mean she had faith in herself.
One of her legs was up high and she held tightly to a toe.
The posture did not look in the least strenuous and soon she reappeared with both legs up and her feet tucked in beside her ears.
This, of course, was no invitation to me, but I was horrified that I could not think of it otherwise.
Our slider windows were open when I went back home and the air inside smelt of a strong solvent. Mackham was at the piano and I thought he made blunders.
‘What is that music?’ I asked, and Molly said, ‘It’s his own!’
All of its parts to my mind worked in and about one another in confusion and there was little precision in the single parts that composed the whole. And the melody – when it attempted to be the upper voice – failed.
And yet Mackham had the right amount of energy to propel the serenade forward and he asked me what I thought.
‘Sounds like the roof work we had done,’ I said. ‘but I admire the pace.’
Mackham made no reply and kept on with the very discreet and immature demeanor of a child.
A heap of color was in Molly’s lap, as she sewed a skirt hem, periodically making necessary knots. She proceeded with stubbornness of conviction and then with hesitation as she addressed me, ‘Sit down! No, go!’
But it was Mackham who left and I ended up lightly touching Molly and she permitted what I meant to convey.
Pet, pet – pet – pet, pet – pet, pet, pet – nothing so unusual – not unlike the sort of casual pampering a dog owner banks on.
But perhaps Molly was appeased as next I launched more delicate and creditable figurations on her body.
Except that she toppled a small, curved and empty flower vase on the table near us as we heard the sound of Mackham. He was returning.
You’ve seen I’m sure a performer on stage stock-still – during which time he waits for his ovation.
This is how I am these days.
Lately and often Molly has spoken to me about Mackham, about how marvelous, about how unheard-of he is, and she allows herself to have such rampant feeling only if I can agree.
Image © Sogni Hal