Summer, 2011 / No. 26
Art by Matthew Daley
Matthew Daley

Last night I drank wine and thought of Idaho. Remember Idaho? I know, who remembers Idaho. It was just a thought. Something about watching Richard Gere, drinking wine, this particular film—not the plot, the hue. It was filmed in an off-white, almost yellow, a bit like Idaho. Driving across it I remember gazing out the window and thinking it’s almost yellow. You don’t remember that do you? Not everyone sees things the way I do.

Honey, you home?

I’m here, yes.

He kisses the top of my head. I’ve become accustomed to the sweetness of it. I’m starting to wonder if it’s like getting accustomed to pain. I talked to the doctor about it. I said, I have a high pain tolerance, and she said that’s not good. I hadn’t realized that I’d said it like it was something to be proud of. Then I said I’m getting used to the pain—accustomed to it. She shook her head and inserted needles up and down my spine.

I don’t remember when the kisses left my lips and began being planted on my head. When does a husband become like a father, how long after they turn brotherly, then your best friend. It’s a blur, off-white, almost yellow. I wonder about that night. Not because I’d ever think of going back or finding out if it was the night or you or Idaho. I don’t know. It’s hard to ever know. My brother, my real brother, said you should always be prepared for these things and though it sounded like good advice, how does one prepare for the unexpected. Isn’t the fact it is unexpected what makes it so wonderful.

You look pale.

I’m in pain.

Still? What did the doctor say?

That it’s not good to get used to it.

He rubs my shoulder. Smiles.

She said it’s working itself out, that I’m responding well.

Hard day.

Me? Or you?

Me, I had a rough day. Rough. We should get away.


He heads into the kitchen, pours himself wine. Although it’s a different colour than mine I wonder if it will have the same effect on him it’s having on me. What will he make of Richard Gere, the yellow hue, and Diane Lane in black lingerie? It’s not even the black lingerie that makes her sexy, it’s her perfectly tousled hair and the way she chews gum. I think she chewed gum the same way in Rumble Fish, with the same zest.

Do you like Diane Lane?


He tells me he has work to do. I wonder how he can come home from work to work. Richard Gere’s lovely to his wife in this role, to Diane Lane. He loves her and it shows. I should have been an actress. What do you think of that? I could be anyone, live in Idaho. My Own Private Idaho. Idaho. Of all places to meet someone like you.

Alexandra Leggat is the author of The Incomparables and a teacher of creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Her short story collection Animal was short-listed for the Trillium Book Award. She first contributed to the magazine in 2000. Last updated fall, 2022.