Nothing

Once upon a time, in a far away place called Wilmington, Laura and Miles bought a DVD—a movie they had not yet seen. It was entitled Miss Congeniality 2, and promised a good show. Their time was not their own in the last days of North Carolina living. You see, they were in the process of relocating to a distant land called Wisconsin, and there were tasks to be completed…boxes needed packing and dust bunnies needed trapping. It was with heavy hearts that they packed the DVD, still encased in its cellophane wrapping.

One evening in Wisconsin, Miles and Laura had a tiring day. For imagination’s sake, let’s call it “last night”. They slogged toward their plush couch and slumped against the pillows. Weariness became palpable, a canopy draped from the ceiling, the walls, and every other surface imaginable. It weighed upon them, brushing upon their shoulders. “I should do more work tonight…” began Miles.

“Yeah…and I should unpack another box…” added Laura.

Their eyes met and communicated their most secret desires. Their longing spoke louder, more articulately, than any voice ever had: “Let’s do nothing instead.”

Now naturally, “nothing” entailed the viewing of Sandra Bullock sequels.

Oh yeah, and they lived happily ever after.

The end.

Do you know it has foam?

Saturday afternoon, Miles and I ordered drinks from the local coffeehouse. I selected a French vanilla cappuccino. I’ve been drinking French vanilla cappuccinos for about 10 years now. (I may not be overly adventurous with my selections, but I ought to get points for constancy.)

Anyway, as soon as I submitted my order, the high schoolish girl asked, bewildered and wide-eyed, “Do you know it has foam?” (Both her distaste and her abhorrence were altogether obvious.)

Automatically, my ‘Midwest Nice’, as it is called, activated and I replied, “Yes, that’s fine, thank you.” However, walking back with our drinks, the sarcastic nature of my being spurred the raising of my left eyebrow. I asked Miles out of the side of my mouth, “Isn’t the definition of a cappuccino steamed milk foam mixed with espresso?” Miles nodded and shrugged.

I have ordered many cappuccinos since. Many French vanilla cappuccinos, to be precise. A habit once broken has been remade. Each instance, we return to our cozy table and gaze into the cup to witness the foam. Yesterday, at Border’s, I replied, disgustedly, “Aw man! They did it again! FOAM!” I spat and sputtered and Miles offered to trade me drinks. I rejoined, “Not on your life, buster.”

Keyed Up

Miles. Keys. Bad combination. (see further documentation here and here.)

With loads of help from my aunts and from my parents, we had the U-Haul unloaded and ready to be returned before 10 this morning. Mom and I chattered about something inconsequential as Dad hiked up the hill to where we detached the trailer yesterday. Miles made to move the truck accordingly. “Hmmm,” Mom and I heard moments later. This is Miles’ favorite word, expression, and response. It unnerves me. It has no defined emotion attached…though, today, I had a pretty good idea what was coming. “Hon, do you have the keys?”

“Nope.”

“Hmmm…”

So, we called Debbie and Brenda, Mom’s sisters. “Do you have the keys?” We had, minutes earlier, sent them along with the contents of the cab. They were not answering their phone. Miles marched up and down the driveway, “hmm”-ing perplexedly all the way. Mom tried Debbie and Brenda again. She left another message. Miles “hmm”-ed some more.

Finally, we decided to just drive to my aunts’ home. They did not have the keys. Miles “hmmm”-ed. We journeyed back to the farm.

As my childhood home came into focus, we noticed something peculiar. The truck was sitting at the top of the driveway, not the bottom where it was when we left. We all found this very impressive for a vehicle without keys…very impressive indeed. Miles “hmm”-ed.

We jumped from the car and asked Dad, clearly the only witness, how this had come to pass. He grinned and laughed, “The keys were in the truck.” Miles “hmm”-ed.