Georgie was an unusual child, especially when he was little. While the other toddlers would hide during thunder and lightening storms, his face would be plastered to the window, if not outside. He learned clouds and birds like some children memorize sports teams and statistics. He wasn’t gifted, merely curious and dedicated.
When other kids his age were racing toy cars, Georgie was racing his favorite clouds, betting cumulous against cirrus against nimbus, first out of sight winning.
When other kids would run around at recess, Georgie laid on his back on a bench, picnic table, or the grass and watch the sky, smiling every time he saw his favorite bird, the red-tailed hawk, soaring overhead, and would imagine himself diving and swooping and circling with it, warm thermals beneath his wings.
That wasn’t to say he didn’t have friends- same regulars, a few boys and a few more girls- would watch the sky with him, and he’d oblige, searching for shapes instead of certain types of clouds and guessing at their altitude.
Paul looked up from the page. The smell of pancakes, sausage, and syrup wafted up the stairs, and he smiled, frowned at his attempt to work, smiled down the hall, stood, and walked away from his work.
He navigated his office carefully dodging wires straying from the equipment lines- some taped down, some running through the walls and ceiling, but most added after the last redecorating attempt, and so dodged haphazardly around the furniture and equipment that those wires and cables didn’t connect to, to the ones they did. It would be an impressive setup, if it had a semblance of order.
Paul reached the doorway at last, peering hungrily back into the room which always sated his greatest hunger- that to create. Finally, he turned and continued down the hall.
The hall was very short, as his house was not a large one, but the trip always took him many long moments. Adorned on the walls were his and his wife’s successes, their completed art, which filled their house with light despite the hours they worked and the absence of a desire for children. She wrote fantasy and animal fiction, and created most of her own drawn art; she also had had a few galleries shown, co-opted with similar artists, all of whom were friends.
Paul himself preferred poetry, thought the bills were paid with his ingenuity- ideas sprouting from his head in all directions and arenas- his architectural schematics for office and gaming furniture and assemblies, his own dabblence in fiction, and his web management.
Hid and his wife’s offices were opposite each other, and yet still side-by-side, the hallway forming a T- at one end of the upper bar was the doorway to hers (the left as you look up the T from the kitchen) though hers sprawled inward towards the hallway (but still above it) and his on the other side, just the same. Their offices shared that inner wall, that lined up with the center of the hallway, but there was no adjoining door. Instead, the wall was thickest there, soundproofing installed to let each work to their own soundtrack. (Curiously enough, Paul had had the forethought and incentive to feed a wire through such that they could listen to the other’s tracks, but also to feed two lines down to the kitchen, to speakers with fixed audio settings, such that both soundtracks could be heard but neither could drown out the other.)
From his door to the fork, along both sides of the hall, were framed samples of her work, and from her door to the fork it was his. This simple juxtaposition had been arranged on one of his random musings, and had inspired numerous successful re-renditions on both of their accounts. Paul stopped and stroked and studied many of them – especially since they often changed – in appreciation of his wife’s skill, as well as in search of new inspiration. At the intersection of the T, where his and her art met, was precisely that – those pieces worked on by both, and not merely two parallel lines, as along the preceding walls, but a mosaic of frames, that only grew as their collaborations continued.
Along the vertical bar of the T, their individual work continued, his on the right as he walked down the T, and hers on the left. Paul paused at one, almost at random, he was drawn to for some inexplicable reason, He pulled a much folded and refolded sheet of paper out of one of his pockets, and pencil out of another, and jotted down the idea. It might later make it into his ideas file if he didn’t expound upon it at the breakfast stable or when eh returned to his desk.
When Paul finally reached the kitchen, his wife’s speakers were playing Disney, his own still on classical-techno. He smiled at the dissonance, smiled at his wife, and stepped through the threshold.
Ris was working hard. She had a skillet in one hand, a whisk in the other, eggs in the skillet, and her eyes on a sketch. Paul had little concern about her breakfast, she was an adept hand at this – watching her art grow and develop and planning it out while she cooked, baked, or fried.
Her name was Christine, but he affectionately shortened everybody’s name. often to something unusual, and like most, had come to enjoy their exclusive names.
The microwave was flashing End…. End….. End, so Paul walked over and opened it up, pulling out his warm breakfast. Ris looked up at him, and he looked down at her, nodded once, and lowered himself to the kitchen table, knowing she’d speak when she took care of the issue on her mind. They’d done this for six years, and their agreements for coexistence were very nearly set in stone.
A couple minutes later, Paul felt her fingers stroke from one shoulder to the other, behind his neck. He lifted his head with a smile, and met her lips with a gentle kiss.
“Thanks for breakfast, Dear.”“Very welcome, Love.” She sad across from him at the kitchen table, and they ate mostly in silence, enjoying when the dissonance disappeared and the two meshed miraculously together.