Monday, May 7, 2007

623 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, 33 seconds

And yesterday he showed her all the books in the den, thinking maybe there were some she'd want. Books on finance and butterflies. He knew she liked to read. And she said, perhaps too quickly, that she'd take them to a used book store. Strand, probably. She didn't think to ask where his old Readers Digest condensed novels were. She'd read some of those. She thought for a moment of the old Time/Life photography books he had, still on those shelves, then realized they'd be of little use in this digital age. She'd given him most of those. Bought for half price or less, at Strand.

They'd been together in Middlebury, Vermont, about ten years ago, when his camera stopped working. He and his lady friend, she and her husband. For his birthday a month or so later they gave him a new digital camera – a Sony that stored pictures right on disk, so he wouldn't have to learn the quirks of transferring photos. As she showed him how to use it, she thought perhaps this was something else they might share. But they took entirely different sorts of photos. And he could never remember how to turn it on, how to snap a photo. And it pained her to see this intelligent man who suddenly coudn't keep things straight, couldn't manage even the things that, for her, were child's play.