“What is a lipogram?”

It’s a surprising inquiry, coming from my girl.

“Who told you about that?”

Douglas. Also known as Doug. Also known as DRH . Douglas is my rival; Always flirting with my woman.

“I thought I told you not to talk to him.”

A sigh; A shy grin; A distant look.

“You did. Anyway, what is it?”
“A lipogram is a story which is told without using a particular symbol.”
“So you could do it using no ‘c’ or ‘d’?”
“You could, but it’s usually not a consonant.”
“Wow. That sounds hard.”
“It is. But so is a crossword.”
“Could you also do it in Mandarin?”

I laugh. China is a common topic for us.

“Avoiding a particular radical is similar, but I don’t think that is as hard.”
“Do you author lipograms?”
“I do. I find it addicting.”
“That isn’t a word.”
“It is so.”
“No it’s not! Look it up!”

As I turn around to look for my dictionary, a door slams.
Most of our discussions finish this way.
What did I say wrong? What did I do wrong.
I think about our past and our tomorrows and I jot it all down.

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