This is how it is, and how I wish it was. Certainly, how I imagine it would be.
There was a leak in the bedroom ceiling from the roof and it took us a month to sort it out. We can neither of us be bothered to buy a rug for that same room to cover a wide expanse of empty flooring because neither of us care sufficiently – she for feathering our nest, me for the nest, that little chick of ours aside, and you know, she is already flying if not flown, the essence of the job all but done.
(The time we did once buy a rug together, her mother watched on as we deliberated. It’s unforgiving of me to say, but that tarnished the experience, the choosing, though it was my choice which prevailed. Once the rug was in place, it was only I who flew it, until the chick came along. I turned it into a courtyard mosaic in Magna Graecia, the setting for a love story. I didn’t know it yet, but you were my Theano. I made you up before I even knew of your existence.)
Whereas I know, if I were with you, and we needed a rug, finding one would be an adventure, a magic carpet ride. We would go into it believing that, and we would make it so. You would bring your knowledge to bear, and we would both exert our feverish imaginations. We would learn a little more about each other’s taste as a shopkeeper – transformed into a wily Indian in a Kashmir bazaar – showed us his wares, and we ummed and ahhed or pooh-poohed, till both our eyes lit up, and you haggled him down. Our purchase would be aged, perhaps even a little worn, but its pattern-woven strands would depict or tell a story. Homeward bound with it nose to tail in either the Micra or the Mini, an Indian rug of Persian inspiration would take us so many places. Its design, its provenance, its history, the rooms in which it had previously lain, and who before us might have coupled on top of it, to ride and take flight out of the window of a house in Bisnagar. When we got home with it, we would set it down on the floor and sit upon it and stroke it and each other and off we would go, and we’d not know where until we got there. We might breakfast in Kashan and sup at Le Bilboquet. It would be the wildest of magic carpet rides, for you are my Scheherazade, and I your Shahryar; and I am your Georges, and you are my Catherine.
I can’t help wanting to re-invest my life with that kind of magic.