I should be cleaning my room. I should have been cleaning my room weeks ago. It was spotless, and I have barely slept in it for weeks. But when I wasn’t looking a dry cleaner must have exploded in its vicinity, there is clothing everywhere. Detectives have yet to find the catalyst for the explosion, though they seem to have ruled the possibility of foul play.
My writing has been at a standstill because I decided I needed to kick the habit. Plus, I’ve spent so much time with the significant other business that I haven’t really had time. But as it goes these words seep out of me, and a few of them have found their way here.
I spend all my time with him, and I wish I was bored. Only because it may motivate me to get out more with other people, to get more work done, or sleep soundly. I keep dreaming about him, only to wake up in his bed. I his arms.
“Are you okay? You started kicking and talking”
“What did I say?”
It’s a strange feeling.
We sit at the diner down the street until our coffee is cold and the waitress is fed up with offering to refill our mugs. We pour too much cream in it. I pour too much sugar in when I think he isn’t looking. We murmur. We tiptoe around the issue of politics. Of money. Of the responsibilities we both ignore so we can lay in bed sighing,
“We should do something.”
So we go out for breakfast. A tiny old lady named Franny bakes the muffins there, and my general mood for the rest of the day depends on whether they have apple muffins left. The sign of Franny makes my heart leap, and I raise my arms and shout her name. She laughs, quietly, and gives me a little wave. Or she frowns, and apologizes, promising,
“Tomorrow I think.”
I tell people about Franny and they smile and nod, pitifully unable to contemplate her importance. Harumph.
We’ve become regulars, and the staff refer to me “the muffin girl.”
We wander in, and slide into a table. I look up as i wrestle out of my jacket and realize we are wearing matching sweaters and glasses. I feel like part of an elderly couple, content to eat at the same diner every other day, ordering generally the same meal. I have a strange urge to start referring to him as Harold, or Bernie.
Someone abandoned a newspaper on the green vinyl bench, and he is curled over it, rubbing his eyebrows. We forget to make conversation.
I wait for him to say he has a headache, and I let my gaze wander.
The place is many shades of green. I didn’t notice until he remarked on the ceiling tiles. From the tables and bench cushions, to the walls, and the fish tank. A muted blue-green. Strange.
In the table to my right a man sits diagonally across from me. He is in a casual police uniform, and he stares at me, one eye drooped down in a unnerving bells-palsy way. I peel open a plastic shot of half-and-half just to watch it swirl mushrooms and leaf patterns into my cup. I let the mug sit on the table. I try to read the headlines upside-down, while my wrist keeps turning.
I hear him laughing so I look up, and he mocks me for using the back of my knife as a stirrer.
“I guess I’m just a rebel. Fuck spoons.”
The waitresses don’t wear name-tags, and I feel rude for not knowing their names. It’s past the point where its appropriate to ask, so I listen carefully, hoping they will address each other. Since I can’t refer to them by their favorite food, or their race, I’m at a loss. When I run out of coffee I have to wait for them to offer it. I sit at the table and try to will the waitress over with my mind, chanting
“Briing me the coffeee…briiing me the coffeeee…that’s right, over here…wait..not…not there…of fuck shes gone behind the counter!”
Sometimes I forget and begin to whisper, and he laughs at me. Strangely, my reaction is to squeeze my face into a ridiculous expression and cross my eyes. I convince myself he’s laughing with me.
Then, when I least expect it, she appears, my Goddess, my patron saint of caffeine.
“Can I warm jour cup for jou?”
I can’t help but think
“Oh, Spanish-accented-large-breasted-Ramones-t-shirt-wearing-yet-still-matronly-waitress, I adore you.”
We rarely pay the parking meter outside, and one morning cranky-short-haircut waitress called out to warn customers there was a meter maid outside. We shuffled desperately for change, and he was out the door as I was pinning a quarter to the table. It impressed me more than I expected, as if he had run out to save a baby carriage from being hit by a bus. Alas, he was too late, and he came back shaking his head, ticket in hand. My night in shining…argyle?
It was a moment, I swear. bona fide fucking Hallmark-channel-original-feature romance type shit.