"I think I would be really good at that," said my sweet Sven.
"Really good at what?" I said.
It was last summer and we were sitting on our couch watching a shoot 'em up western movie. The whole screen was full of cowboy bodies strewn about a town set in a bowl of dust that was lined with facades and hitching posts.
"They probably get paid a hundred bucks a day for just laying there," he said.
"Maybe more than that," I said.
"Why?" I said.
"I was a brownie in our school play."
"What is a brownie?"
"I don't really know. My mom made a costume for me and it was brown. I didn't have any lines or anything. I just had to stand on the stage next to two other brownies. I was pretty good at it."
"You sound amazing."
"It got me to thinking that I would do even better at laying on the ground."
"You would be good at that," I said.
"I wonder if you get paid more if you are one of those guys who doesn't die right away and you twitch a little bit."
He then demonstrated his twitching abilities.
He was a natural.
Not too much twitching.
Just the right amount.
"Of course," he said, "It's hard to be still too. Watch this. Can you see me breathing?"
He then demonstrated how still he could be.
I was very impressed.
That is what I love about Sven.
He dreams the attainable dream.
As an actor he doesn't worry about bringing home trophies for the mantle.
He's not concerned about being chased by the paparazzi.
He doesn't even want to walk the red carpet with me on his arm.
He is my very own Clint Eastwood.
And my Clint Eastwood is much more practical than the Clint Eastwood you probably know.
"Maybe we should take a trip to Hollywood," I said that night.
"Nah. They probably want younger dead people," he said. "Besides I just retired. I am not looking for work, Millie."
I didn't blame Sven for not wanting a new career. He was just getting used to not working. He is really good at it now.
But with covid-19 everything is changing.
And once it is contained, a new career might be something we all have to look into.
Those retirement funds we seniors were banking on.
Well, I for one, have not had the guts to type in my password.
It stands to reason that whoever of us elders that are lucky enough to survive this ordeal through washing and distancing may have to get our ancient asses back out there along with everybody else.
That is why it is reassuring for me to know that Sven has this talent.
Because I would really suck at being a waitress anymore.
If I went into retail I just would buy all the shoes in the store.
And how many cashiers are we going to need?
I have been snapping pictures of Sven laying around the house.
Typically he is on the couch.
Often his book of the day is splayed across his chest.
Most of my shots are not exactly dead cowboy material.
But I think the Hollywood producers will be able to see what he's got in the portfolio I am putting together.
Especially when he falls asleep with his mouth hanging open.
Looks real to me.
"What's that Sven?"
Uh-oh. Clint Eastwood just woke up.
"Nobody. I was talking to myself."
Peace and love to you.