A Truth

My wife revealed a truth about myself that I didn’t know. I said, “Have you tasted the potato salad?”

She answered, “No, what’s wrong with it?”

“That’s a weird response.”

“Well, that’s what you say when you don’t like something or think it tastes funny.”

“Do I?” She was right. When I like something, I just say that. But when I don’t like something, I seek validation that someone else doesn’t like it.

I liked the pot salad, though. Was this then an exception to my approach to food, a new beginning, or just the way it’s always been, unnoticed among my general idiosyncrasies?

An Old Post – Out with the Old

Visiting my Red Room archive, where I posted for a while, and read one of my final post. It’s from June, 2014, but it remains valid. As soon as the pandemic lockdown began, my wife began cleaning. The thinking remains the same…

Here’s the post.

My wife has been on a continuing project.  Starting in March, she selected a room and cleaned it.  Emptied the closets.  Drawers.  Each item and article was examined.  Subjected to investigation.  Do we need it, do we use it?  Bag after bag was filled.  Trips to the Salvation Army and Goodwill were executed. I helped a little but she made it a project, creating lists, planning and executing foot by foot.

We’re down to two spaces she wants to clean:  the garage and my office.

My office.  My sanctuary, my Fortress of Solitude plus one and two cats. See, although it’s my office, that’s just a title.  She has begun calling it the snug.  It’s the warmest room in the house in the winter.  Heat attracts her.  It also has the best wifi connectivity and excellent natural light.  She urged me to buy a larger television for my office, then a recliner….  Despite being an experienced husband, I fell for both. She makes the recliner her home for reading, surfing the net, watching television and talking on the telephone.

Most stuff in the office is mine.  Much is writing or work related.  Clearing her throat in early June, she cautiously suggested we clean the office and get rid of some ‘accumulated junk’.  “Junk!” my heart cried.  She was calling my heritage junk.  Oh, the wound.

“You said you wanted to clean the garage,” I countered.  I’d been waiting for this strike.  “You can start there.  After all, most of the boxes in there are full of things you’re storing.”  Aha, take that!  En guarde!

The negotiations entered a tricky phase.  “I will admit that most things we store in the garage are mine,” she said, tiptoeing through words and tone, “and we should go through those boxes but I’m not ready to do it yet.”

A chink in her logic.  Riposte.  “I understand what you mean,” I replied.  “I’m not ready to go through my office…yet.”

Negotiations were at an impasse.  Weeks passed.  She returned with a counter offer.  “How about we each take out five things from the office?”

“Okay,” I answered.  “And two from the garage.”

She grimaced.  “If we get rid of things, we make room for new things.”

“Assuming that we want new things.  What if I’m happy with the things I’ve already acquired?  Besides, if that’s the case, there’s more junk in the garage.  If we want to make room for more things, shouldn’t we then start with the garage, where more things currently reside?”

My wife launched a rant about the junk we’ve accumulated.  I let her rant until she’d spat it all out.  Silence fell.  She sank her shoulders.  “Okay.  How about five from the office and two from the garage?”

“Okay.”

That’s where it was left, five days ago.  I’m no fool.  She’s not forgotten.

Tick, tock.

 

45

Just one of those coincidences that we’re on POTUS #45 and my spouse and I are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary today. Simple people, we’re honoring our people by observing the traditional meal of pizza and a salad. The salad will be made in the kitchen but the pizza will be a Papa Murphy’s Garden Veggie Delite (thin crust). This is our first takeout pizza since March, when the rona sheltering began. Pie for dessert will follow.

She’s made me a much better person with her intelligence, empathy, and passion for social justice and reading. I hope she got something from me for her troubles. I love her, enjoy her, and I’m grateful for her, though I’m shit at showing those things.

Happy anniversary, honey buns.

Some Dream Highlights

Such a strange, long dream.

At one point, I let a little pet mouse out of the bathroom into the rain. Yellow walls and a naked yellow light, decrepit age, and a sloping dirt floor defined the bathroom. I didn’t want to let the little mouse out. I knew it was storming and night, unsafe conditions, to me. I didn’t know what the mouse knew. Letting him out with regret, I vowed to check on him.

Then, dreamshift, I was at work, a new job with a familiar feel. A new boss arrived. Others were at work at clusters of desks. I was shown a desk that was to be mine but decided to find and reclaim my previous place, which I then did. I cleaned it, finding old stuff of mine. Sorting it, I decided what to keep and toss. Then, speaking with a female co-worker, I re-oriented my desk to watch the front door. I told her that I wanted to see what was going on. She agreed that was the best way to face.

My mail was delivered. It was a lot but not as much as I expected. Off I went to find the rest. As I began, the office administrator arrived with a large bundle of mail for me.

Now, dreamshift again, I was leaving with my wife to return to our hotel. First, I went back to the yellow bathroom and pulled open the door. The little mouse hurried in from the rain with a grateful look my way.

My wife and I were walking through a large market on the way back to the hotel. Then she said, “I want to get something.” I asked her what. She replied but I couldn’t hear her. She went off, leaving me to mill around.

Friends in the military came by, heading to the marshalling area to deploy. I was happy to see them. Walking with them, I told them about changes in the area because they weren’t aware. Breaking off as they arrived at their destination, I joined up with my wife. She was still shopping. Like before, I asked her what she was after. She replied but I couldn’t hear her. She went off, leaving me with a commiserating shop owner. I decided to continue to the hotel instead of waiting.

Dream end.

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Monday. Just come as you are.

Yes, it’s a Nirvana day.

Come as you are, as you were
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend
As an old enemy

Take your time, hurry up
Choice is yours, don’t be late

Take a rest as a friend
As an old memoria

h/t to Genius.com

Come as You Are” always spoke to a oneness for me. Friend, enemy, memory? These matters become fused, and speaks to trust and messy agendas. “Why are you urging me to come there? What are you up to?”

No, I don’t have a gun.

Enjoy the 1992 offering.

 

Backslide

They finally made it over the hump. Stay at home policies were being relaxed. Businesses were re-opening. “We’re striving to return to normalcy,” the governor, the mayor, and anyone else who was anyone said. Some were talking about parades and national holidays, “To stimulate the economy.”

“I’m looking forward to normal,” he told his wife.

“I want to go dancing,” she said.

Both wondered, is it safe? The government said it was. Maybe they’d wait, maybe…

Reading the news…Jesus…”It’s like the same thing everything day.” The weather made him feel foul. He felt cold. The sun felt weak. The day seemed shorter. What the fuck, he wondered, than attributed it to his dark moods. It’d pass in a few days.

The next day brought the awful news. He checked the numbers and saw an increase to cases. He groaned. “No. Christ, I hope it’s just a blip.”

His wife, reading something on her Mac, said nothing.

Sullenness settled on him. God, he was so looking forward to normal, to getting out of the house, to walking down the street, and then, on the whim of a smell – a burger, fried onions, whatever – to walk into a restaurant, any restaurant, damn it, and order whatever meal he wanted, and have someone bring it to him, and pay them money without worrying about their breathing and their distance and their health. Plus, yeah, he loved his wife, but five weeks of isolation with just her had seared his sanity.

The news continued. He’d heard it all before. “What the hell.” If his mind wasn’t going, then the news was exactly what they’d heard before, word for friggin’ word. “You hearing this?” he asked his wife.

Without looking up from her laptop, she said, “Hm mmm.”

Which, what did that mean? “What’s for dinner?” he asked, and then joked, “Want to go out?”

“I was thinking that we’d have pizza and a salad.”

“We just had that.”

His wife looked blank. “When?”

“Last night, remember? We joked about it being our victory pizza? I opened a bottle of wine?”

Her eyes widened as he spoke, and then she rolled them in that irritating, contemptuous, dismissive way. “Is this another one of your jokes?”

“You seriously don’t remember?”

“We didn’t have pizza last night.”

“Then what did we have?”

“We had black beans salad.”

“No, we didn’t, no, we didn’t. That was the day before.”

He stood. “I’ll prove it.” He stormed to the freezer. The pizza would be gone. There’d be no pizza in there because it was the last one they had on hand. They’d joked about that, too.

But there was the pizza, a Newman’s own.

“No fucking way,” he said, throwing the pizza back into the chest freezer. No fucking way.  As a second verification, he went by the wine storage and confirmed, there was no open bottle. Like, it had not been opened. He checked the recycle bin for a bottle, just in case — he didn’t remember finishing the bottle but maybe she’d had some — but there wasn’t an empty wine bottle in the bin. Passing, he saw the cake.

He’d eaten the last piece as dessert, after the pizza. Victory pizza, victory wine, victory cake. Moving slowly, he slipped back down the hall. It hit him as he returned to the office and sat down at his computer. They were going backward in time. If he was right…he couldn’t be right.

But if he was right, they were going to relive it all again, in reverse.

“Did you find the pizza?” she asked, a smug tone to her voice.

Or, he corrected, he was going to relive it all again in reverse. She seemed completely oblivious.

“I was right, wasn’t I?” she said.

He covered his face with his palm. With a swallowed sigh, he wondered, how far back could he go?

Together Again

It’s funny, but sometimes when I post or share something humorous or sad on Facebook, the same two people react to it. They always react the same way. It’s memorable to me because they were married for a decade and then had an acrimonious divorce. I was so sad to see them part. They’d been one of my favorite couples.

Now they won’t speak to one another, and I can’t enjoy the company of the two of them together. Except there they are, on Facebook, together again, laughing, shocked, angry, and crying through emoticons.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: