Sesame Street is must see TV

sesame streetOctober 30, 2013 – When my son was a toddler I enjoyed watching “Sesame Street” with him and tapping my foot to such music videos such as Muppet Billy Idol singing “Rebel L” and Muppet Beatles singing “Letter B”. It was clever and entertaining stuff.

Now, it looks like I’m the one missing some great television because he’s grown and I don’t tune in anymore. I’ve just discovered a treasure chest of familiar shows that Children’s Television Workshop parodies, such as “Desperate House Plants”, “A’s Anatomy”, “Birdwalk Empire”, “Mad Men”, “Upside Downton Abbey“, and their latest, “Homelamb”. The show’s writers deserve applause for their creative genius. These clips are funnier than anything I’ve seen on SNL in a long time. They even have a wonderful parody of “Casablanca” that classic movie lovers may appreciate.

Other parodies I came across while perusing YouTube include “The Voice”, “True Blood”, “Sons of Anarchy”, and “The Closer”. I don’t watch these shows, and haven’t yet watched the clips, but if they are anything like the others above, and if you are a fan of the original program, they may be worth your time.

A tiny house, a covered bridge, and a tree

October 28, 2013 – When the trains once passed by, this was a most likely a station house that sold tickets. Now it’s a home to an interesting looking fellow with a long beard. That’s who I see walking around the place when I pass, anyway. The picture may be deceiving; this is a tiny building, and perhaps the smallest home I’ve ever seen. It’s located in Beth Ayres, Pa., in Montgomery County. Look at the shadows of the tree on the side. Morning shadows are always surprising.

small house

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Pennsylvania is home to more than 200 covered bridges, more than any other state, making the Keystone State the covered bridge capital of America. Here’s a shot of the Van Sandt Bridge in Solebury Township in Bucks County, Pa. near Washington Crossing State Park. Constructed in 1875, the bridge is 86 feet long, and according to several paranormal groups who have investigated the area, it is also haunted. That’s not surprising since the bridge is 10 minutes south of New Hope, Pa., said to be among the most haunted places in the United States.

bridge

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Autumn colors make a beautiful photograph, and while we’re past peak season, this shot taken on River Road just past the Black Bass Hotel in North Bucks County, shows that some leaves are more determined than others. They almost seem painted on, as they appear perfectly placed on the branches.

tree

The Moody States of America

downloadOctober 25,2013 – Do you feel out-of-place, or unable to relate to your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers? Perhaps moving to the state that better suits your personality will cure you of your ills.

“Time” magazine released data this week, researched by a group led by American psychologist Jason Rentfrow, that maps the American mood with state-by-state ratings of personality and temperament. By gathering personality test data from over one million people, the group identified distinct personality regions in the country, and by taking a simple test, you can discover where you belong.

Take the test and read the full article

According to the test, my best fit is Georgia, because the Peach State is friendly and conventional, relaxed and creative, and temperamental and uninhibited. Supposedly I am too. I’ve visited Georgia a few times, and it was agreeable because my stays occurred in the fall and winter. I’m not sure I would like the climate during the summer. As far as sports, I could never call myself a Braves or Falcons fan, so scientific data aside, I think I’ll stay in Pennsylvania for now.

Still, it is nice to know I have a place to run to that would understand me should I need to make a quick getaway.

Things I’d like to do before the year’s end

imagesOctober 23, 2013 –New Year’s resolutions usually don’t work for me because there is no pressure to make an immediate commitment. Cramming it all in to the last two months of the year, however, better suits me because stress improves my odds for success. Therefore, here is a list of things I’d like to accomplish before midnight on December 31, 2013:

  1. Get through 2001: A Space Odyssey without falling asleep. It might be impossible.
  2. Paint another picture at “Painting with a Twist”. I loved it so much the first time.
  3. Attend the writer’s workshop at the Northeast Philadelphia Library. Saturday morning. I swear.
  4. Figure out exactly how many states I’ve visited. I think it’s 45 of the 50, but I want to be sure.
  5. Write a message in a bottle and throw it out to sea. Just because.
  6. Donate blood. I have a crazy fear about this.
  7. Learn how to take a photo with my new camera outside of auto mode. Holidays are a perfect time to experiment.
  8. Take more risks at work. I can do it!
  9. Try sushi. I’m scared.
  10. Decide on whether to get my Master’s Degree or not. Is it worth it?
  11. Bake a good cheesecake and serve it to my family at Christmas. Last one was too dry.
  12. Send out holiday cards this year. I’ve been lax.
  13. Update my website. It’s been over a year and that’s not good.
  14. Better manage my finances. Yea, right…
  15. Find my iPod. It has to be in the house somewhere.
  16. Get past level 39 on Candy Crush. I have been stuck for over a week!
  17. Win a huge jackpot at the casino. Our traditional visit with family between Christmas and New Year is almost here, so I can get it in under the wire.
  18. Finish a huge editing project. I don’t want to but…
  19. Turn another year older in December. Don’t have a choice, do I?
  20. Be nicer to someone. You know who you are.

Capturing the moment

canon_powershot_sx30_is_angle_medium 2October 21, 2013 – I’ve always had a strong interest in photography, yet I know little more about the art than placing the camera in auto mode and pushing the button.

It’s time to learn more. The inspiration behind my decision – the night shots I took at my sister’s outdoor wedding reception last month were nothing more than a blur of lights mixed with darkness, which probably had more to do with my camera than photography skills. Still, my quest requires me to upgrade both.

Research led me to Canon because I have had a positive experience with them in the past. Back in the day, when film was king, I had a Canon Sure Shot that took beautiful pictures. I decided on a Canon Power Shot, a definite upgrade from my old Nikon Coolpix. Not quite a professional photographer’s choice, but a good beginner camera for anyone who wants to learn the science behind the photo. Once I read the manual, I will experiment (and share the results) without the help of auto mode. Until then, if only to get a feel for the camera, I’m on auto mode all the way. Here are the first shots:

Peddler's Village in Lahaska, Pa.
Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pa.
The pond at Peddler's Village
The pond at Peddler’s Village
The gazebo in Peddler's Village
The gazebo in Peddler’s Village
The water wheel at Peddler's Village
The water wheel at Peddler’s Village

A drive-in movie theater in Philly?

downloadOctober 18, 2013 – If you remember dancing hot dogs and promotions like “Five dollars a car load” and “Free popcorn for the kiddies”, chances are you remember the drive-in movie.

Just the mention of a drive-in brings back memories of dressing in pajamas and bringing blankets and pillows so you could sleep in the back of the station wagon while Mom and Dad watched the second of a double feature.

Want to give your family a taste of what it’s like to go to a drive-in movie? Beginning tonight and over the next several Fridays, Eakins Oval, located at 26th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway pays homage to the old-fashioned drive-in by creating their own drive-in movie experience. Celebrate yesterday, and the 80th anniversary of the drive-in with one of five features:

  • October 18: King Kong vs. Godzilla & Pacific Rim
  •  October 25: Grease & The Blob
  •  November 1: The Car & Christine
  •  November 8: Arachnophobia & Big Ass Spider!
  •  November 22: Planes, Trains & Automobiles & Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Admission is 25 cents for Enterprise CarShare members (to celebrate the price of movie tickets 80 years ago), and $19.33 for non-members. If you don’t have a car, there is plenty of room on the grass area of the Oval. Admission is free for those who arrive by foot or bike.

To buy tickets in advance and for more information, visit www.theawesomefest.com.

The joy of serial fiction: Unraveling, Part 11

Unraveling RopePart 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8Part 9Part 10

Unraveling, Part 11

“Jess, was it easier to talk to him?”

The storm was starting to break now, as the thunder sounded farther away. The lights hadn’t come back on, but the rain had let up.

She shrugged. “In a way it was,” she said honestly, and it pierced this heart. “When I looked at you, I did see your pain, but I couldn’t help you. I just had to tell myself that you weren’t as affected me. And then you accused me of being unfaithful, and that was the last thing I needed. I felt like I failed you in every way. I lost our baby, and then I lost your confidence in me. Gary knew I was in pain. He listened to me and made me feel better, and with no strings attached.”

The words stung, but he knew they were true. “You didn’t fail me or yourself. It just wasn’t meant to be, I suppose. That’s what everyone said to me, anyway. I just didn’t understand why you looked for comfort outside of us.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say, Kevin. I thought I just explained that. You pushed me away!”

“I don’t want to believe that, but if you do that’s what matters,” he said quietly and feeling  ashamed now that it was all out in the open. But there was still one thing he couldn’t get past. “I thought I was helping you by avoiding it. Why didn’t you tell me what you needed? Why didn’t you try harder, Jess? I would have for you.”

She shook her head. “You can’t say that for sure. Besides, you did the same thing I did. You turned to someone for comfort, too. You have Sara.”

He smiled and suddenly felt foolish. “You actually said her name. That’s a major step for you.”

She smiled, too. “I guess it is. The point is, you did the same thing I did, and we both found a way to survive. That’s a sure sign we’re not meant to be together, Kevin.”

“For god’s sake, Jess. There is no Sara!” He paused momentarily. “Well, there is a Sara, but it’s not what you think. She’s a co-worker’s dog. I took care of her while they were on vacation. When I was talking to you on the phone that day and I told you I had to go because I had to take care of Sara, you acted sort of jealous, and I liked it. So, the first time I told you about her, it was true. I had to go make sure she was walked and fed. I just made you to believe she was a person.”

Jess looked shocked for a moment, but then she started to giggle incessantly. There were so many emotions set free in the short time they’d been talking about the baby, he knew she’d probably have a hard time gaining her composure. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “I guess I’m surprised, Kevin, but I have to admit it’s the funniest thing I ever heard.”

He laughed, too. “Well, I’m glad I can still surprise you. Unfortunately, I know Gary is real, Jess. You found another lover and friend. That’s what you did.” He started to fill with tears again, and this time he let them fall freely down his cheeks. “You know, I thought you wanted to get away from everything I was, and that’s why you turned to him. You hated that I loved to watch football on Sunday and fell asleep during the week in front of the TV by nine. You hated that I didn’t read enough and I didn’t go to museums with you every weekend. You even hated my friends.”

She looked at him kindly and smiled. “Those were the things I loved about you, too. I guess I was looking for something else and I blamed you because I couldn’t find it. My plan wasn’t working. I wasn’t a published author by 30, and I felt my time was running out. Losing the baby was the final blow. Then for some crazy reason, I got it into my head that I should just bury my feelings. Therapy made me realize that I needed just the opposite.” She smiled tenderly. “I should have known it was not too smart, but it was the only thing I could do to make it through the day. Then when you didn’t talk to me about it either, I buried those feelings. At least until the day of the confrontation we had with Gary.”

He looked at her sadly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand,” he said.

She smiled again and reached out to touch him on the shoulder. “Kevin, perhaps it’s time for the whole truth to come out,” she said. “I guess I have a confession to make, as well.”

He looked at her and wondered what else she could possibly say. It had all been said and then some.

“I never slept with him.”

Instantly his mood brightened. No words could have made him happier at this moment. “You didn’t?”

“Nope. We were never more than friends. That day he just asked me how I was feeling, and I didn’t hold back. I had a therapist appointment the afternoon before, and I guess it was ready to come out. I think I scared him off for good after that. And if I didn’t, you certainly did.” She smiled. “After that, I saw him in a new light. I found him to be a bit pretentious.”

He looked at her and smiled.

“I know what you’re thinking,” she said. “I know I can be pretentious, too, and I know I have some bizarre habits, just like you do. But we didn’t share a history with each other to help make those weird little habits bearable.”

He started to laugh again. He couldn’t believe what was happening. “We’re sure a pair, aren’t we? We both have vivid imaginations and the nerve to make up outside love affairs. Maybe we can refer to them as our transitional love affairs. How’s that for literary use?”

She smiled. “Not bad, even though that doesn’t make any sense.” She started to rub her arms to generate warmth. “I guess the heat is out, too. I’m freezing.”

“If we were at our house we could light a fire.

“You still refer to it as our house. Are you sorry to be living there?”

“It has its memories. I understand why you would want to walk away and start clean, though. It’s difficult to be there alone.”

“I’d love to light a fire now, but this drafty old building doesn’t have a fireplace on this floor.”

“We could light a fire in the kitchen and pretend it’s a fireplace the way we used to in our first apartment. I can remember the kitchen being so cold on winter mornings we’d have to light the stove burners to warm it up. We could use our divorce papers as kindling. How’s that idea, metaphorically speaking?”

“Now that’s better literary reference,” she said with a pleasant smile. And it was a real smile, he could tell. “And I’m glad we’re talking instead of arguing. I’m even glad we talked about the baby.”

“I guess we have the power failure to thank for this time. And Jamaica.”

“And you,” she said softly. “You didn’t give up, Kevin. That’s good.”

“No problem. Now you owe me one.”

“Well…”

“Ok, I’ll sign. Do you have a pen?”

She shook her head and laughed. “Now you give in,” she said cynically. “I’ve been after you for six months, Kevin, and now you’re finally ready to given in. After all of this.”

He laughed, too. “Isn’t that what you want?”

She paused for a moment and smiled. “I guess I never thought you’d agree to it. And I haven’t thought about what to do if you did.”

He smiled, too. “That must mean you didn’t want me give in.”

“I’ll be honest with you Kevin, I don’t know what I want. Except that I don’t want you to sign the papers right now. And that I’d like you to come to my next therapy session with me.” As she said the words the protective armor she’d been wearing the last year seemed to fall away, and she began to look soft, gentle and familiar again—like the woman he knew and loved. “Maybe this morning I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I’m not sure.” She shrugged. “I know this makes no sense to you, but let me put it this way.” She looked into his eyes and took his hand into hers holding it to her heart. “I need your help.”

He grinned playing along. “And what is my mission if I choose to accept it.”

“Be patient with me while I sort some things out. Like you’ve said, what’s the rush?” she smiled, and this time it was real and warm and inviting just like he remembered. “It can’t be for the fictitious people in our lives, that’s for sure.”

He looked at the woman he loved more than anyone else in the world, the woman he shared a decade full of history with, and he hoped to spend the rest of his life knowing how great they were together. He felt sure they’d make it work now that so much was out in the open. “If I have my way they will never be signed,” he said softly and inching over closer to her on the sofa. “I think we should listen with our hearts more often, the way we used to do.”

She leaned into him and smiled. “That is one emotion you should be proud of.”

The End

Reviewing television’s sitcoms

downloadOctober 14, 2013 – Last Monday, I reviewed some of the new and returning drama shows that have hooked me. Here’s a rundown of the new and returning sitcoms that seemed appealing at first glance.

Mom – (Starring Anna Farris and Allison Janney) – The premise of this new comedy may seem a bit trashy – a single mom of two, recently sober tries to deal with the reappearance of her own mom back in her life, also an addict – but I laughed a lot through the first two episodes. It’s almost like “Roseanne” meets “Cheers”. The writing is good and the acting is better. I think this one might make it through the season.

The Goldberg’s – (Starring Jeff Garlin and George Segal) – My hopes were high for this comedy, based on the creator’s childhood experiences, but it bored me. I’m not sure if it’s trying to be a modern version of “The Wonder Years”, or if it’s just trying to hard in general. It doesn’t come close to “The Wonder Years”, but it’s not exactly bad, either. Still, I removed it from my DVR list because I know I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it.

Trophy Wife – (Starring Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford and Marcia Gay Harden) – Coming into the new season, this was the comedy I wanted to hate. No one is more surprised than I am that I like a show about a younger “trophy” wife married to an older man with two ex-wives and three kids, but it is somewhat charming. It is kind of silly, but Whitford and Harden are always fun to watch, and definitely lend sophistication to the premise and the show. I think this one may be around for a while.

Dads – (Starring Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, and Martin Mull) – I’m not sure why I even attempted to like this boring comedy about two young men who run a video game company, and their two fathers who move back in with them to complicate their lives. One and done was all it took for me. I think it might be gone by Halloween.

The Middle – (Starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn) – Wednesday nights are great for the situation comedy, and the returning show, “The Middle” didn’t disappoint. The trials and tribulations of Frankie, Mike and their three kids, Axl, Sue, and Brick, and their frustrating and hilarious middle class existence in small town Indiana, make me laugh every week. These actors know how to do comedy.

Modern Family – (Starring Julie Bowman, Ty Burrell, and Ed O’Neill) – Another reason Wednesday nights shine is the return of Modern Family. Clearly one of the funniest, if not the funniest show on television, as evidenced by its multiple Emmy Awards for Best Comedy, the brilliant cast and writers keep coming up with gems week after week.

Back in the Game – (Starring James Caan and Maggie Lawson) – After two episodes of this sitcom focusing on a single mom who moves back in with her father, an ex-baseball playing, beer-guzzling widower, I’m not completely sold. With my limited television time, that means it’s erased from the DVR for good.

Super Fun Night – (Starring Rebel Wilson and Kevin Bishop) – When I first saw this show advertised, about a square peg young woman and her geeky friends going out on the town to create “super fun nights”, I cringed. I thought it looked awful, and wasn’t even going to give it a chance. However, I watched the first episode, and found it wasn’t that horrible. The problem I see is keeping the premise fresh week after week. The show, I believe, has to change direction for it to succeed in the end. I don’t think this one will be around long enough to have the chance to do so.

The Millers – (Starring Will Arnett, Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges) – All three actors in this new sitcom have impressed me in other roles, so I was excited to try it. The premise is quirky. When Nathan Miller (Arnett) tells his parents he’s divorced, his father (Bridges) decides to follow his example and leave his wife after 43 years. His mother decides to move in with him, while his father moves in with his sister and her husband. Only time will tell if this is a hit, but the pilot was mildly funny. This one I’ll keep recording, at least for a little while.

The Crazy Ones — (Starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar) – Not since the likes of “Mork and Mindy” did we get to see Robin Williams on the small screen. He plays the co-owner of an advertising agency, which works nicely with his quick wit. The other co-owner is his daughter (played by Gellar). Again, this show could go either way, but the pilot was funny. Strange though, I have the next two episodes DVR’d, yet each time I go to the playlist I opt for something else. That’s not a good sign.

The Michael J Fox Show – (Starring Michael J Fox and Betsy Brandt) – Critics claimed that this show would be the hit of the season, and after the first two episodes, I am not sure if I can agree. I didn’t dislike it per se, but the words of the critics are pretty tall orders to fill. Fox is enjoyable on screen as the newscaster who goes back to work after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, just as he has been in other roles. However, I need a little more screen time before I make my final decision. The problem is, that like “The Crazy Ones” above, I keep bypassing it on the DRV.

Parks & Recreation – (Starring Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman) – I just discovered this comic gem about the small town politics of Pawnee, Indiana, and have been watching reruns On Demand. I’m only halfway through season two, but began watching the new episodes of season five, and I’m somewhat sorry I did. The humor is still top-notch and the cast incredibly goofy, but apparently a lot happens in seasons three and four, and it spoiled it for me.

Sean Saves the World – (Starring Sean Hayes and Linda Lavin) – This comedy would be dull if it weren’t for the likes of Hayes and Lavin, two sitcom professionals who have shined in other TV comedies. There’s something so likeable about Hayes especially, which gives me the impression that this show about a single, gay dad raising a teenage daughter may last. Yet, it still hasn’t sucked me in all the way. I keep recording, but I am behind on a few episodes. We’ll see if I take the time to watch in the next few days. It’s iffy.

It’s nice to see that the sitcom plays a more prominent role on TV this year, but many of them – some on this list and some I didn’t review – won’t last the season.

Savoring the fake flavors of fall

6738_dt_newOctober 11, 2013 – I may not be a typical coffee drinker or a fan of pumpkin pie, but the arrival of pumpkin coffee – and pumpkin beer for that matter – is enough to put a smile on my face. Fall is the one time of year I do partake in at least a few cups of flavored coffee. It’s the same with caramel apples, apple cider, Sweetzels® Spiced Wafers, and all the flavors of fall.

One of this year’s offerings is a new flavor from M&Ms: Pumpkin Spice. Last year Hershey did it with their Kisses, so it’s no surprise M&Ms would attempt to capture that same market. Considering there is no real pumpkin in the M&Ms or the Kisses – and that may be the case with many pumpkin type offerings – neither candy holds any appeal to me.

If you’re brave enough to try them, you might also be curious about Russell Stover’s chocolate covered caramel apple, available at most drug and grocery stores. On second thought, why not go crazy and just enjoy the real thing. They are easily available at this time of year, too. The new M&Ms are available exclusively at Target.

The flavors of fall are just one more reason to love the third season of the year. Last week, I listed five reasons I love fall. Those list-loving folks at Ranker.com, also known as the Ranker community, came up with Over 40 reasons why fall is the best season, and I agree with most of them.

The joy of serial fiction: Unraveling, Part 10

Unraveling RopePart 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

Unraveling, Part 10

“You can’t mean that, Jess!” he shouted, feeling anger, sorrow and a multitude of negative emotions surging through him. It was the cruelest thing he ever heard her say. “How could losing our son be a blessing?”

She shook her head and looked like she was ready lose total control of her emotions, but they crossed the line now and it was too late to turn back. “I know that sounds terrible, but it would have been worse for the baby when we broke up.”

He softened knowing this was torture for her. He wanted to reach out, hold her, and tell her everything was going to be fine, but he knew she wouldn’t let him. And he wasn’t sure that it would be fine. “I don’t know about that, Jess. He might have held us together.”

“No, I don’t believe that!” she replied in a controlled but shrilling tone. “Eventually things would have turned out this way. It just would have postponed this, or made us resent each other.”

He couldn’t believe it. All this time he thought they broke up because of the trauma of losing the baby. She obviously had her own reasons, and the revelation shocked him. “How can you tell? Do you have a crystal ball? We just stopped communicating at the worst possible time. If we hadn’t we would still be together today. I’m certain of that.” He paused and caught his breath. “Was it easier to talk to Gary about it, Jess?”

# # #

Six months before…

In the aftermath of losing the baby, Jess found that life did go on, but a part of her seemed closed off now. Outwardly, she healed, and she resumed her life as nothing had ever happened. She felt Kevin understood that, too, for he even stopped trying to get her to talk about the baby. She saw his pain, and felt guilt for that, too, but she didn’t know how to help him.

She went back to work the following month. She got a promotion at the bookstore, and even sold a few articles to a local newspaper. Things were definitely starting to fall into place again. Jess wondered if they were simply working out the way they should have all along. Perhaps she was wrong to have gotten pregnant, and the gods were just sending her a signal that this is what her life should be. Family and friends thought she buried the grief forever. They praised her about her recent accomplishments at work, but no one would talk about the baby. Kevin began to work longer hours, too, but she didn’t mind. It became easier to not have him around.

She converted the baby’s room into an office and began to work a lot from home. One afternoon, she was upstairs working on a flyer for the new summer reading list when she heard the doorbell. Gary said he’d stop by to drop off purchase orders she needed to sign, and Jess answered the door happy to see him. She invited him to stay for lunch. She needed the company today.

“How are you doing?” he asked her after lunch. She’d heard the question before, but she had the feeling that he really wanted to know the answer. That he wasn’t just asking out of courtesy.

“I feel like shit if you really want to know the truth,” she answered. It was oddly comforting not have to put a brave face on for Gary the way she had to do for Kevin. She could be honest without the guilt. “I’m having a pretty emotional day.”

Walking into the living room, he put his arm around her shoulder. “I’m sorry for everything you had to go through,” he said sincerely. “And I’m here if you want to talk.”

She looked at him and smiled, and then she started to cry. She’d been holding her feelings in for so long now, and it was actually a relief to set them free.

“Thanks,” she said and she hugged him tight. Jess realized that Gary had a bit of a crush on her, but she also knew he wouldn’t do anything about it because she was married. She needed the comfort today, and would take it from him without worrying about leading him on. He was a sensitive guy, after all, and she knew he wouldn’t take advantage of her emotional state. She didn’t know how long she was standing there holding on to him when she heard the door slam.

“What the hell is going on here?” Kevin asked coming into the door with an odd look on his face.

Gary and Jess both jumped, but it was she who spoke. “You’re home early,” she said softly.

“I thought I’d come home so we could have lunch together,” Kevin snapped, “but I guess I’m too late. Or maybe I’m just in time.”

“Kevin,” Gary replied, looking startled. “This isn’t what you think.” His thin frame looked a little shaky as he spoke and Jess felt sorry for him. He’d be no match for Kevin if they did get into a fight. Kevin had thirty pounds on him easily.

“Is anyone going to answer me?” Kevin directed his words to Jess, ignoring Gary.

“Kevin, calm down,” she said carefully. Then she shot Gary a look that told him to leave immediately.

“Well, I should be going,” Gary said with an odd look of terror on his face. He had received the message. “I have an appointment with my editor in 20 minutes and I suppose you both want to be alone.” He fled like a scared rabbit.

Kevin turned to her and looked directly into her eyes. She could see his were burning with jealousy. “What was that all about?” he asked firmly. “He looked pretty guilty to me.”

“Nothing is or was going on,” she said in a calming tone. “Don’t be upset.”

Kevin laughed cynically. “I tend to get upset when I see another man’s hands all over my wife.”

“God, you sound like a cave man, Kevin. We weren’t doing anything illicit. Why don’t you trust me?”

“I don’t trust him.”

“You don’t have to trust him, but you do have to trust me.” She shrugged. “Besides, he just dropped by with some papers I needed, and we started talking.” She walked back in to the kitchen and started clearing the lunch dishes. “That’s all, Kevin. We were just talking.”

“Is that what you call it? Talking?” he asked as he followed her. He was flying into a rage and she only hoped he could control it before it got too out of hand. They’d been so careful with each other for months now, and this was the first time she’d seen Kevin angry in a long time. She was afraid that so much was bottled up inside of him that he would blow completely.

“Please don’t insinuate that I was doing something wrong, Kevin,” she said calmly. “We were talking. That’s what friends do.”

“I saw the two of you through the window. Talking does not involve arms locked around each other, Jess.”

She shook her head. “I got a little upset, and he offered me comfort, that’s all.”

He paused for a moment. “What did you get upset about?”

She looked at him feeling puzzled. “You know what I got upset about, Kevin. Don’t make me say it.”

“If you needed comfort, why didn’t you call me?”

She looked away. “I didn’t call anyone,” she said. “Gary just stopped over with some work stuff, and we started talking. It just all came out. I guess he just asked me the right questions.”

“Is that right?” he cried as furious as she’d ever seen him. “For months I’ve been trying to get you to talk! I tried so hard to make those feelings come out with me. And I held mine back because I was afraid you couldn’t take it!”

He looked enraged, but she was managing to hold it together. “My therapist suggested I talk to someone neutral,” she said in her defense. “He’s my friend, he’s easy to talk to, and he’s neutral.”

He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You have a therapist?” he asked, and she realized that she should have told him sooner she decided to go alone since he was not interested in therapy together. “How long have you been seeing a therapist?” he asked.

“About three weeks now. Remember, I asked you to go but you said it wouldn’t help.” She knew how he felt about strangers knowing the intimate details of their life, but she needed this. She realized, however, she should have been honest enough to tell him.

“I said I had to get over this on my own, Jess, but I would have appreciated knowing you decided to go.”

“I know, and I should have mentioned it” she said calmly. “But I have to do it my way, too.” She paused and took a deep breath. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, Kevin, and I think we should separate for a while.”

To be continued on Wednesday, October 16, 2013…