There was a line scored in pencil a foot from the bottom of the canvas. The artist had poured small buckets of paint near the top, and we had each been assigned a colour to watch. The first colour to drip down to the line would win the finished painting. He was watching green, and green was winning. He had no idea where he would put a 12’x12′ painting, and besides, he didn’t like where the aesthetics on this thing were going. So he walked up and spread the green line around with his palm so it wouldn’t advance any further. Pink won in the end. Unfortunately, pink was his wife, and anyone could tell by her excitement that she loved the thing.

She launched in from the laundry room, saying something about lasagna, and walked right into his 20cm tall masterpiece, scattering alphabet blocks everywhere.

It was raining hard that morning. She jogged the entire length of the High Line without crossing a single person, then retraced up the Greenway. She hadn’t bothered wearing her shell and was drenched by the time she reached her building.

Two weeks after they moved in together, she realized that he chewed his fish oil capsule every morning. It wasn’t a gummy. It was a capsule that exploded fishy oil across his tongue when he bit into it. He confirmed that it tasted awful, and he dreaded it every morning, but this was just the way he had always done it.

There was a small window in the 70s when one could drive a family from the topmost point of the continent to the very bottom, even in the ricketiest of vehicles.

It had been 9 months since he’d had a haircut. He could pull his bangs down to touch his upper lip, but he usually kept them curled around his ear.

The one-room cabin was barely standing. The wood on the south-facing wall had shrunk over time, and wind would whistle through the cracks in the boards. One section of the floor had been exposed to a hole in the roof, and had long-since rotted away. There were years of animal droppings littering the remainder of the boards.

“Great job,” he said, “you have successfully filled your first notebook. Now you can put it on the shelf where you’ll never look at it again, except to put it in deep storage a year from now.”

He was born in a community of forty on the western side of the island. His first visit to town was on his tenth birthday. That was also the first time he tasted ice cream.

Earlier that morning they had come across an empty job site along the side of the river. They explored and found some test cores near a small drill. They were now attempting to swing them at each other like light sabres.

The guy was covered in cat hair. She moved around him cautiously, with the kind of wide berth and side-step respect that a movie priest would give a vampire.

“Boy of boy, she had large hair follicles”, said the Russian Trichologist to the reporter, describing a lady who had passed out mid-treatment.

I came out of the kitchen and found her on all fours, picking Lego out of the thick living room carpet. “I just feel like all of your books are the same book with different characters,” she said.

Within minutes, she had donned a ballgown and fixed her hair in nest, but her hands were still oil stained. There was no fixing that for now.

“It’s hard to hobble around the gym looking like you can barely bend over”, he said.

The network signals had been out for weeks. Now, instead of spending the last hours of the day sprawled in the recliner, he would move out to the screened-in porch, light his pipe, and watch the lake.

She was bored, head resting in arms on the kitchen island. She nudged an avocado bit by bit until it disappeared over the edge. She flicked at a pen. She ripped a napkin to shreds.

Over three years, he had documented every idea and learning into a an external brain software package, and now, his laptop was gone.

He had been born on a Friday the 13th. Black cats gave him the stink eye.

She revealed a small packet from the right pocket of her lightly stressed jeans. He unwrapped the distressed craft paper. Inside, in Times New Roman, was printed the question, “TOO MANY WORDS?”