Archives for the Date October 25th, 2021 2021-10-25 21:32:27 2021-10-25 21:29:52


In the Mood for Love (花样年华), dir. Wong Kar-wai (2000) 2021-10-25 21:29:34


Modern Glasgow AU

(set about 1.5 years after the wedding)

Claire closed her eyes, took a deep breath, counted to ten, and pressed the palms of her hands on the cool, flat surface of her desk.

Jamie had left their flat ten minutes before – to give her the quiet and space she needed today. Today was Saturday, and it was eight-thirty AM, and Claire Fraser, medical student, had studying to do.

She rolled her shoulders and opened her anatomy textbook. Set it to her left.

She fanned out her notebooks – each turned to a different page – and a few photocopied handouts. Set it to her right.

Undid the rubber band holding the ever-growing pile of homemade flashcards. Set them in front of her.

Glanced over at the framed photograph of her and Jamie – a snapshot taken by Murtagh a few months back, grinning in a field at Kelvingrove Park.

Picked up her pen. Flexed the muscle at the base of her thumb – and the tattooed “J” inked on her skin.

Began to write.

“It’s verra kind of ye to help an auld man wi’ his plumbing.”

Jamie’s legs shifted a bit, sticking out from the cabinet beneath the sink in Murtagh’s kitchen. “I havenae fixed it yet. You’re not too old. And besides, Claire is studying this morning.”

“Ach.” Murtagh handed his godson a wrench, and watched him disappear back under the sink. “How is it going for her, wi’ the schooling?”

“I think it’s more difficult than she lets on.” Jamie’s legs twisted – boots squeaking against the wood floors – as he tried to get a better angle. “She’s verra clever, so it’s no’ a matter of remembering everything. It’s some of the other students who are a problem.”

Murtagh warily eyed the drain in the sink. “How so?”

“It’s a maturity thing. She’s the only marrit student. Many of them focus on partying all the time, and some of the men are real arseholes. Making passes at her and such. Blind to the ring she wears.”

Something popped in the sink – and slowly the two inches of water began to recede down the train.

“Ye’ve got it!” Murtagh exclaimed.

Carefully Jamie unfolded himself from the cabinet and sat on the floor, twisting his back and neck. “Do I need to remind ye again to scrape yer plate before ye wash it?”

Murtagh huffed. “The building is old, laddybuck. The pipes always need tending. Besides – tell me more about Claire’s classmates. Is it a problem? Have ye had to get involved?”

Jamie snorted. “You ken my wife, aye? She can mind herself no problem. Swats them away like the insects they are. Only – it does bother her, that she may continue to be around such men even when she does become a doctor. She kens she’s verra beautiful, but she wants people to…to no’ write her off as just a pretty face. Which motivates her to work extra hard.”

Jamie pulled his mobile phone from his shirt pocket and fired off a quick text.

Murtagh skeptically raised a shaggy eyebrow. “I thought ye said she was studying?”

He continued to tap out a message. “She is. She puts her phone on ‘do not disturb’ so she doesnae get any notifications. Only if I call her, does it go through.”

“So when she turns off the block, all she gets are texts from you?”

Jamie smiled. “Aye.”

Murtagh shook his head. “Lovesick fools, the both of you. Now – let’s decide what to do for lunch. My treat.”

“And what about you, lad?”

Jamie wiped a bit of curry from his chin. “What do ye mean?”

“Claire has her next few years mapped out, wi’ the medical school. What about you?”

Jamie’s brow furrowed. “I was promoted about six months back. I have a whole shift of men working for me now at the printshop. And I’m cultivating a few relationships wi’ writers, who I may bring in for book deals.”

Murtagh set down his spoon. “What’s next, then? And how will ye get there?”

“Weel – I’d like to move out of the printing entirely, and focus only on working wi’ the writers. But it will happen at its own pace, Murtagh. I willnae ask Colum or Dougal for a hand up.”

“There’s no shame in doing that, lad – especially for the tuition bills. If ye need.”

Jamie pursed his lips. “That’s verra kind. But Claire and me are fine. I can cover our expenses now. And she has money saved up from when she worked as a nurse. The rent on our flat isnae too dear. Claire volunteers at the clinic to defray some of her tuition.”

“I want ye to know that if ye ever need anything, ye only need to ask.” Murtagh held his godson’s gaze. “I mean it. And if ye dinnae make it to the next rung of the ladder at that company – weel, they dinnae deserve ye.”

Jamie reached across the table – careful of the curry spattered on the tablecloth – and gripped his godfather’s hand. “Thank you. Truly.”

“It’s the least I can do. Now – ”

Jamie’s phone chimed from his pocket. Quickly he fished it out and answered the call –

“Are ye done, then?”

Murtagh watched Jamie’s face utterly transform with joy.

“Come meet us. Yes, at his favorite spot. We’re just finishing up, but we can always order more. All right. Love you.”

Murtagh turned and beckoned a waiter to the table. “Another menu, please?”

Claire breezed in about five minutes later. She bent down to give Murtagh a quick hug, then slid beside her husband and greeted him with a long kiss.

“What were ye studying today, then?”

She glanced over the menu. “Bones and tendons of the foot.”

Murtagh harrumphed. “Sounds complicated.”

“It is – but you should be glad that people like me know all the ins and outs, in case you ever need it.”

“I want to show you some verra particular ins and outs,” Jamie breathed into her ear, grinning.

Playfully she swatted him away and settled her hand on his thigh, safely beneath the table. “Hush. Later. I’m hungry.”

“Thank you.”

Jamie frowned. “For what?”

Gently Claire reached across the pillow, tracing the rise of his eyebrow with her thumb. “For being you. For being so thoughtful, and so supportive.”

Quietly he shifted so that his arm – tracing abstract shapes on her bare back – pulled her even closer to his chest. “How could I not be?”

Her eyes clouded with memory. “You know why I ask.”

He kissed her swollen lips – for the twentieth or thirtieth time in the past hour. “I worry about you. You are working so hard.”

A soft rush of cool air from the open window beside their bed. The trees rustled outside, in the dark. She shivered. He kissed her shoulder.

“It means the world to me, that you think of me always. Your messages throughout the day.” Now it was her turn to kiss him – slow and deep. “I love what I’m doing, Jamie. I really love it, and I love what I’m learning, and I love that I’m doing it. I love that you love that I’m doing it.”

“It’s important to you. It’s your calling, Claire – and it’s such a rare thing to have that calling. To know it about yourself.”

She smiled. “You know what my other calling is, though?”

She rolled them, and he happily complied – laying flat on his back, watching her rise above him in the candlelight. Feeling their love, a tangible thing, in the shadows.

“Tell me,” he gasped as she rolled her hips.

“It’s the same as your calling.” She found his hand, and brought it to her lips – kissing the C tattooed at the base of his left thumb.

“To be one,” he sputtered. “Oh, Claire. I love you.”

She smiled. “Not nearly as much as I love you. Now hold still.” 2021-10-25 07:29:15


Javier y Geraldine, tango en Niño bien

One of my favorite places in Buenos Aires, and one of my favorite couples. 2021-10-25 07:27:27


Kyoto Series, No. 22B, Takahashi Rikio, 1962, Minneapolis Institute of Art: Japanese and Korean Art

overlapping blue, black, tan, brown, and lavender forms in loose hook-shape; red oval URQ
Size: 9 5/8 × 6 ¾ in. (24.45 × 17.15 cm) (image)
11 9/16 × 8 13/16 in. (29.37 × 22.38 cm) (sheet)

Medium: Color woodblock print

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