Well, what happened was she asked me to help her with something -- I can't remember what -- so I grabbed at that and said, "Okay, but you've got to do something for me." She looked at me suspiciously. I never ask her to return a favour so it was obviously going to be something she'd hate.
I said, "Just one little game of dominoes. Don't worry, It's really easy. As easy as that." I pointed at the TV. There happened to be an ad for some silly children's thing on at that moment.
She hesitated, then smiled, "Oh, okay. But just one. And just for you," she said, pointing at me.
It took a while to get her mentally prepared and in the mood. We had to wait for her to relax from puttering, and then until whatever she was watching on TV was over. But finally we cleared off the dining room table and dumped the dominoes on it. I read over the instructions as quickly as possible. We picked out five each and started playing. Learning it together. I referred back to the instructions several times. After the first quick game we played another and began to get the idea together, so kept playing. Then Linda started figuring out what it took to win, and began applying it. But suddenly things would go wrong and one of us would have to pick up dominoes from the pile, one after the other, sadly, and we would laugh. After quite a few games we finally got played out and put them away. But Linda was smiling and said, "That was fun. And it was really distracting from everything!"
The next afternoon we put our coats on and left to go to Tillsonburg. There's a flea market/antique place there she wanted to see. In the elevator down I said, "Considering how little we have in common, just imagine if I was into sports."
She looked at me, thinking of other male relatives who spend most of their free time obsessed with one sport or another. Depending on the season, I guess. "We would be living separate lives completely!" she said.
Well, she drove to Tillsonburg. I drank coffee out of my Thermos and admired the farms. Remembering my childhood. I went into the flea market with her for a little while. Found one stall with "Fur, Fish and Game" magazines, which got me excited for a couple minutes, because I had had a subscription to it when I was a young teenager, and had wanted to be a professional trapper when I grew up. Now, reading a column about trapping muskrats I began feeling a little sick inside. The past is over.
I sat in McDonalds, reading and writing, then went back to the flea market to pick up Linda and on to London again. It was my turn to drive, and Linda's to sit back and drain out some of the stress that comes from looking, wanting and not getting.