Kelly pulled the coins from her jeans’ right-front pocket, threw them into her purse. “I should probably get home. I have my first show with these glasses, in a couple days. In the city, no less. I’m beyond stressed. I’m a bottle of stress. You know what, do you have any of that Malbec left?” she said, looking at his generous glass.
“Here, you can have mine,” Mike said, handing the massed stemless to her, watching her small fingers wrap around its equator.
“Are you sure?” she asked, mid-grip.
Kelly accepts. Sip. Again. “You should do more with your photography.”
“What do you mean?” Mike said, just watching her progressive settlement into their exchange, her vessel settle into cushion.
“I love your pictures, on your blog.” She sipped, in subtle gratuity sequence, her eyes drumming on his. “I think you really have an eye for the shot, you know? Especially the ones you took today, of the barrels. I’m thinking, actually those shots have me thinking, of painting on barrels, selling them to smaller tasting rooms. What do you think?”
“I think that’s an awesome idea. I wish I could do what you do.”
“I the same, with you. I can’t write. At all. And photography, no way.”
“What are you talking about? I took those barrel and bottle pics today with my iphone. They’re hardly quality, of any artistic merit.”
“See? That’s your problem. You analyze too much. Just follow-through with them, with your writing of course, I know you only take pics for the sake of your pages, I read your blog. But, I think you should just see what happens, with the pics, with everything. You’re on the brink of something great, you know.”
Mike stopped. Started listening after she spoke. In the quiet. He saw her sip. “I need a vacation, with you. To somewhere random. What do you think?”
“Oh yeah, where are you thinking?”
“Somewhere random. I don’t know. Morocco. Or Athens, Greece. How’s that?”
“Could you believe the rain today? Wasn’t it beautiful?” she said, sipping, again. She stopped, held the glass in front of her, thought.
“What? Is it bad? I corked it pretty tight last night. I think.”
“It’s different for a Malbec. For me, anyway.”
“No, I think so too. Kind of jammy, almost, right?”
“Yeah, like...Zin-like. Right?”
Mike loved her palate. Her surprise. He innocence, brilliantly observant naivete. He observed her observance, of the puddle in that thin goblet. He would have paid to know precisely what her sight reflectively jotted, internally. Plainly, he wondered, what was she thinking? “So, do you like it?”
“I do. I want some for my studio.”
“I wish I could do what you did.”
“Then do it. Just quit. It’s scary at first, but...”
“Yeah, I can’t. I’ll be full-time with the writing soon. I hope.”
“Don’t hope. Just jump off the tightrope.” she said, taking out a small canvas book from her bag. Mike saw her hand move with the black sketching pen, as if being led by it. Those tired retinae of his, recharged by her nearness, her timely sweetness. He knew she was right.