When Liz got home, she found Eric flinging books out the window. He had a stack of them by his feet and, though he threw them one at a time, there was nothing ceremonial about it.
He said,”hello” and asked if the worn copy of The Fellowship of the Ring was hers. He said he couldn’t remember.
She set her work things on the table and went into the bedroom. The top two shelves on Eric’s bookcase were empty. Eight months ago, while Liz visited her parents for the weekend, Eric had rearranged everything. He’d paid particular attention to where the bookcases should go and how the books should be arranged so his favorites would be in easy reach of the bed.
Liz took off her shoes and rubbed her feet.
She picked a dozen books off the next shelf and carried them out to Eric, craddling them carefully in her arms. She added them to his stack.
“So what are you doing?” she asked.
“Oh, it’s not important,” said Eric, hefting a hardback thesaurus. “I just needed to do something poignant.”
Liz peered out the window. Six stories down the books were barely recognizable as books. They were just colorful rectangles on the pavement. A crowd had gathered and pointed up towards their window.
“Well, then shouldn’t you be throwing your paintings?” asked Liz.
“What paintings?” asked Eric.
Liz watched. Eric looked distracted. It was the same look he had when he took out the garbage or watched the news or rode the subway or met someone for the first time. It said: I’m too busy for this.
“Do you want a glass of wine?” asked Liz.
“Yeah, wine would be good.”
“Not for throwing.”
“Oh. Never mind.”
Eric lifted How to Draw What You See. He raised his arm back like a pitcher and sent it sailing.
Liz smiled. They flew magnificently: smooth and heavy as they rose, fluttering and desperate on the way down.