Saturday with poetry in central Maine
Episode 1: While you are standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, the man you love wanders off to the pile of old books that some local charity is trying to palm off for 75 cents apiece. He sorts through the 1970s science textbooks and ratty Grisham paperbooks and spiritual-ish self-help manuals and discovers . . . a first edition of Gregory Corso's 1960 The Happy Birthday of Death. He sweetly hands you this volume as you trundle over to see what's what. Then the two of you drive off to the lumber yard to buy siding for the barn.
Episode 2: People are coming over with the realtor to look at your house, so you and the man you love decide to take a drive to Kingsbury Pond. He goes swimming and you sit beside the dam and kick your feet in the water and watch the little children who are trying to ride a giant inflatable orca but mostly tipping over onto their heads. Afterward you and the M.Y.L. discreetly sit under a tree in a cool breeze and drink a bottle of beer and count ducks and labrador retrievers and reminisce about your own old departed dog. Eventually you decide that the people looking at your house should be gone by now, so you drive home to make dinner. But the people are still there, and they seem amazed and enthralled by the property, which is very startling. They have many questions to ask, and then the young woman says, with awe and intensity, "I noticed that you had a book of Rilke's poems on one of your tables." As you say to the M.Y.L. afterward, if all goes well this would certainly be the first time in the history of Harmony, Maine, that Rilke has ever helped to sell a house.