After he got home from a long day at work, Jerald had a nightly tradition that he carefully followed with help from his wife.
A day spent in the trenches of his cubicle rich office and being surrounded by nothing but talk of computer programming made Jerald long for something more cultural and interesting.
Depending on what day of the week it was, Jerald had something special waiting for him on a table by his favorite chair in their living room.
It was Tuesday and so he read a bit of the new issue of The Paris Review, one of his favorites as far as literature magazines went.
He poured himself a glass of single malt scotch over specially designed rocks that got quite cold without diluting the drink.
Jerald’s wife Matilda was amusingly the exact opposite of Jerald and, after a long day of reading dozens of stories and chapters from novels with a red pen, pored over magazines that explained the difference between different engines and how quickly cars could go from zero to sixty.
She preferred drinking orange juice at night and on occasion even tipped a hint of vodka into her mug to make it that much more flavorful.
She had to be a bit more careful with the vodka than he was with the scotch because while the scotch helped with his programming, it certainly did not help with her editing.
After being engaged for an hour of reading their various periodicals, Jerald and Matilda put down their drinks and magazines and moved to their couch so they could hold one another and talk until it was time for them both to go to bed.
One might think that they would have nothing to discuss after years of these kinds of conversations but there was always something new or some nuance that had yet to be discovered — and it was these conversations that got Jerald through a long day at the office.