Hard Cover

I thought it was rude that my husband was sitting and reading, making notes in a blank book, when our friends were there, sitting so close to him, under a tree looking bored.  I told him so, and he got angry and said something to make me feel foolish, and to cover my embarrassment, I told a mean little story about him meant to get a laugh.  And when our friends laughed on his account, I was satisfied.
Later, after a long day of telling more mean little stories about my husband, some of which got a few laughs, I felt weary of socializing and went to sit on a blanket in the shade and read a book I was very taken with and had been thinking about all day, like a lover hidden away in my purse, a book I couldn't help thinking about even when my friends were telling sad stories about wayward family members.  I nodded sympathetically hoping they didn’t know that my mind had accidently wandered to this book I was in love with, not only the words in it, but the weight of it in my hands, the way the pages were so creamy, the way the chapter titles were italicized, the way the type face made me feel like I was walking the narrow streets of an ancient city.
I sat on a blanket in the shade and held the book, slipping into the dream between the pages when my husband pointed out, in a voice loud enough for me to hear, that he apologizes for his wife’s rudeness, distracted as she is by a book when friends are so close at hand.

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