Saturday, March 08, 2008
Married To Joy
Hi readers! Here's the fourth installment. I'm going to post the last sections on Sunday and Monday. Pictures on beautiful Detroit on Tuesday. I know you guys are dying for more bleak scenes from the city. Who the hell isn't?Hope you're having a great weekend!
"How was your dinner? What did you think of the toasts?" Krista asks, having made her way back to us.
"I practically had to hold Jeff back from making one. He's really hyped on marriage right now."
Krista knows about Joy, of course; anyone who's been around Jeff for ten minutes knows. She ruffles his hair in a maternal way.
"Just between us, marriage means knowing whose bed I'm waking up in," she says.
On the subject of Joy's appeal, it would be an understatement to say that I don't get it. She was lovely, but so were his last four girlfriends. If you put pictures of them in a book, it would look like a page out of the Ford modelling catalog. The one before Joy bore a striking resemblance to Kim Novak and had a Ph.D. in genetics. When she started telling me what eye color she and Jeff's children would have, I knew she was not long for Jeff's world.
My own standards are none too high these days.
Once a friend of mine rented an apartment whose management listed "hot and cold running water" under amenities.
What I'm saying is that you can't take anything for granted.
After Krista leaves again, we watch a middle-aged couple clearly engaged in a fight of some sort and the woman keeps saying, "I don't ask that much from you, and you can't even do this one little thing." She repeats this phrase until it becomes a litany.
I look at Jeff. "Maybe we're lucky," I say.
"If I were married to Joy, it wouldn't be that way."
"You only want it because you can't have it. If Joy were to come walking through that door saying 'I'll marry you,' you'd be ecstatic for about ten minutes before you'd be all Mr. Second Thoughts."
And we keep on like children until we notice that most everyone else has gone into the sanctuary.
"Time to move," I say, pushing myself away from the table.
We find a pew, waiting for everything to start. I'm cold and uncomfortable sitting on the hard wood. It seems the pianist hasn't gotten here, and I'm completely drained, wishing I was back home.
"Enough," Jeff says, holding his hand up. "I'm sick to death of Jeff Davis. How are you? Who's heart have you been breaking?" He looks me in the eye, an attempt to appear earnest about my well-being.
What's there to say? My love life hardly warrants that particular title anymore.
"No one special," I say.
"How's work?" he asks, not giving up quite yet.
Work is something I don't want to talk about either. I'm a decorator with a local company; we're sort of this low-rent version of Martha Stewart. The company functions under the premise that eighty percent of decorating means disguising what isn't working. The other twenty percent consists of adding something the person would have never thought of that pulls everything together in a dramatic but not overbearing fashion. It's not, as they say, rocket science. It is what comes after a degree in fashion design followed by a series of menial jobs, some half-ass forays into corporate America, and a year in graduate school deciding that I didn't want to be in graduate school.
When people find out what I do, they always want to see my place. What they don't know is that I live surrounded by white walls. I've been giving my possessions away, one by one because they've lost all their charm. You could write a book on what my apartment lacks. What my apartment does have is beautiful windows in the living room. When it snows, I sit on the couch and pretend I'm in a gigantic snow-globe, white flakes swirling all around me.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I want to be happy; why do I do things that make me unhappy?" Paul Schrader
Drinking movie suggestion: Blue Collar
Benedictions and Maledictions