year eight

You brought home wilted flowers and cheap
champagne.
I scraped the razor up my calf with the phone tucked under my chin, while you struggled with your tie and blew smoke rings from the bathroom window.
We both ignore the neighbors making up again.
The champagne was flat but I drank it from the bottle, the ache of the support panties crushing my ribs.
My nails chip as I shove them into the heels, the blisters on the balls of my feet crying out.
You toss the tie onto the bed that you glare at. I roll my eyes at you, and you reply, “I didn’t say anything.”
You cast another meaningful glance at the bed.
I swallow my guilt with the last of the champagne.
You grab your coat and I rake my eyes down your body. You deflate as if I have pierced you.
“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing,” you demand.
“Nothing.” I sigh.
The eyeliner on my right eye is a dream; the left is a cross between a raccoon and a caricature of a cat burglar. I remove the lipstick from my teeth and darken the right eye.
You don’t notice.
You turn on the radio and I roll my eyes.
“What’s wrong with my music?” you demand.
“Stop whining,” I sigh.
You ignore the parking space that I point out to you. We are late for our reservations by the time we hobble into the restaurant from the mile distance from the entrance to our car, me with support panties resting somewhere beneath my navel, you with your tattered boots and an outfit that says “help me.” We are careful not to touch as we are led to our table.
We haven’t been here. I have begged you for years to take me, as all of the people who know say that it really is the best in the area. You remark that “we’ve never been anywhere this fancy,” and my ears burn.
Why are you you?
You are self righteous when you order your domestic beer in lieu of a nice wine or a craft brew, but we both falter at the sight of our plates. You cast a knowing, smug glance in my direction, but you do not speak.
I attempt to talk to you about politics and justice, but you can not engage me. You attempt to talk to me about sports, but my eyes glaze over and I almost die of boredom into my plate.
Tears melt into the rabbit, who actually died of natural causes. As I chew into him forcefully I smile at you. You smirk knowingly.
We leave hungry. We don’t order dessert.
The drive home is silent. I take off my bra in the car, and you beg me to take my feet from the dash.
I think you’re an asshole.
There is a cloud ahead. At the same time we remark that it looks like a man praying.
You reach over and you grab my knee.
“Did you shave? You missed a spot,” you offer.
“You look like you haven’t showered,” I reply.
Later we share the ice cream that you said you didn’t want. There isn’t enough for both of us and I sigh my frustration loudly and often.
The neighbors make up again.
“You want to do it,” I ask absently. You roll over and squeeze my breast.
“If you do.”
“I don’t.”
You go down to turn off the lights and return with my water. You hand me the book I left on the kitchen table. I offer you the glasses that you wouldn’t find on your own.
We clasp hands as we sink into sleep. I push you away from me and cocoon myself in the blanket. You shiver under the sheet valiantly.
“I love you,” you whisper.
“I love you, too,” I reply.
“Happy Anniversary.”
“Happy anniversary.”

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