Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Cokes And Donuts
Here's the penultimate installment. Thanks for reading!
I wake to another gray slushy bitter cold day with no sun. Last night in my dreams, my mother asked me to put a tarantula in the freezer, and I forgot to seal the jar tightly. A few hours later, I went to get a snack from the refrigerator and the tarantula had escaped from the freezer and was crawling around near the salad crisper, a little worse for the wear but not dead.
When Jeff pulls up to my house, he lays on the horn until I come out. I start to give him grief about this, but I can tell he's in no mood by the way he's mumbling about not being able to see through his fogged windshield.
I situate myself in the trashmobile and grab a towel from his laundry basket, putting it over the seat to make sure I don't get any dirt or food on my dress, then say: "I could stop breathing."
"It might help," I say, pointing.
"Doubtful," he says, offering his first smile. "You look good." I'm wearing my one formal winter dress, off-white with an empress waist, and my hair is piled on top of my head, held together by gold chopsticks.
"You look like hell," I say, although he doesn't by any normal standard. I've known Jeff long enough to forget how beautiful he is, which takes some doing. Strangely enough, I've never felt more than friendship toward him. I wonder if it's some self-protective reflex that keeps me from falling for someone more attractive than I am.
"What did you do last night?" I poke at his suit, a faded gray that looks slightly worn and elegant at the same time.
"Sat around and looked at back issues of Playboy. I thought about Joy."
I start to hum Paul Simon's "One Trick Pony."
He laughs. "You want to see a movie tonight?"
"I've got plans." I don't, but I also don't feel like tromping around in the cold with Mr. Gloomy Boy.
"Nuh uh," he says.
"What?" He scratches his nose with a gloved hand and I almost say someone's thinking about you, but I don't, knowing that line of thought can't go anywhere good.
"The same thing I always do," I say, looking out the window at the people on the streets, their faces covered against the wind.
"You're turning down a date with a hot guy like me so you can sit in your apartment and watch the snow?"
I shrug. It's funny how sometimes doing things you don't want to do is considered a move toward health, sometimes a move away from it.
He turns and looks at me for a long moment with what seems like real admiration and says: "You're way worse off than I am."
"I am so not way worse off."
We stop to get Cokes and donuts, and I begin to feel better. I wake up every morning sick to my stomach, which would scare most women, but it's a state I find oddly reassuring. The day tends to get better from there.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I hope there's a tinge of disgrace about me. Hopefully, I have one good scandal left in me." Dianna Rigg
Drinking Easter appetizer suggestion: Pigs in a blanket
Benedictions and Maledictions