Hugh brought two mugs into the family room and set them on the table: one was for Margaret, the other he carried to his side, and sat down. “We need to talk,” he said, stretching out his words.
Margaret lifted her cup, took a sip and waited.
“Have you thought any more about joining?”
“I have, but that’s about all. How about you, what‘s your pulse on the matter?”
“I think it's time! In fact, what’s wrong with this coming Sunday? Margaret, love, would you please hand me a napkin?”
“Here, take several. You know what that means: we have two days to get our testimonies down in writing.”
“Does that bother you?”
“Not so much the writing as not knowing how much to include.”
“You mean about… baggage?”
“Yes, you have to admit it’s not been easy.”
Hugh creased one of the napkins into a small square. “You still have that disconnected feeling don’t you?”
“Well, folks are friendly enough at church, but why they don't include us more in their lives?”
“I know, I hear men talking about stuff they do during the week. From what I can gather they play golf or watch games on TV; sometimes they go fishing.” He laid the square over a tan coffee spill.
“Ladies go shopping together and have lunch all the time; I never get a call.” Margaret searched Hugh's face for support.
“Now Margaret, we both need to remember what it says in Proverbs, ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.’ When have we gone out of our way to be hospitable?”
Suddenly Margaret snatched off her octofocals as if they’d bit her. She lifted them to the light, “You know I think I may need to see Dr. Phillips next week. That seventh eye is still bothering me - a lot.”
“Well, you know what they say about worm travel: hard on the eyes!”
“Yes, but it’s been six deuteriums already: you’d think we’d be over all that. I’m wondering, dear... maybe we should've bought Round-trips when we had the chance; our senior discount here won‘t kick in for another ten nonagons. ”
“Please, Margaret, let’s not go there. You know we’ve been over this same ground time after time. Without a firm commitment - and that includes church -we’ll never make this work out.”
“I guess you’re right, darling, membership is important: we‘ve been floaters long enough!”
Hugh scooted his chair back and stood up. He reached behind him and detached his tail, passing it over to his wife. “Oh, would you mind dropping this off at the cleaners tomorrow on your way in? And tell them aquamarine this time: I didn‘t like that fuchsia at all.”
Margaret sighed. “Sure, honey. Well, I guess we’d better get started on those testimonies.”
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