Once there were an artist and an inventor.I originally wrote it to be read out loud, so on the page it is a brisk read. If you want more, here's where you can get this Avery 5, which also contains Steve Almond* and Claire Hero, in whose company I have not been since 1989, when we were in eighth grade together in Northfield, MN. True! I have no idea if she remembers me, but her name is caught forever for no reason in my memory, which has a remarkable retention of useless pre-millennial trivia and arcana and alarmingly vast gaps ever after. (I want to blame the brain-destroying recalled aerosol grout sealer I bought from Home Depot when I tiled my bathroom floor. But it's really probably the internet.)
The artist and the inventor live together in the first floor of a building that used to be a saloon in the 1800s and now has been painted dark blue with purple and red trim so it looks like a saloon in a traveling carnival. They are right up next to the sidewalk, and the inventor is always drawing the curtains shut and the artist is always opening them. The artist needs light. The inventor needs privacy. In other words, they are deeply in love. But both of them are a little bit more in love with the artist.
(*Here is Steve Almond deconstructing Toto's "Africa" at the Tin House tenth-anniversary reading in Portland last summer. I was there and it slew me.)