“I’ll just grab something to eat at the club,” I say.
“Oh don’t do that, I’ll make you something,” she says.
“I’ll be fine.”
“No, please don’t eat at the club. I have something good for you.”
“You just don’t want me to use up the food allowance,” I accuse.
“We like it there so much. We can go to lunch five times, but if you go, you use up the whole thing. Please? I’ll make you something good?”
I hang up the phone and get back to work.
I go to men’s tennis night. Everybody wants to grab something to eat between sets, but I sit there, my stomach growling.
I go home starved. All I’ve eaten is a pop tart today.
“Where’s dinner,” I ask?
“Let me finish watching Survivor.”
45 minutes later, Survivor ends. My wife goes into the kitchen. She comes out with a Liverwurst sandwich.
It’s not just any Liverwurst sandwich, either.
It’s that cheap, shitty, pink, hard, supermarket liverwurst.
I look at the sandwich’s construction.
It is apparent that my wife cut off one 2 inch thick piece of liverwurst and placed it in the center of a piece of Wonder bread. She then cut a triangular chunk out of an onion about an inch thick and placed that on top of the liverwurst. She then placed two slices of old swiss cheese that are yellow and oily at the edges on top of that. She then squirted some French’s mustard liberally on the thing. She then placed another piece of white bread on top of that and pushed down really hard in a vain attempt to smush the liverwurst out to the edges of the bread. Then it was cut in half with a dull brea I d knife, and presented to me.
The onion chunk was poked through the top of the squished bread.
As I pick the thing up it falls apart.
“This is worse than nothing.” I say.
“You like Liverwurst. Eat it, and stop complaining.”
“I don’t know where you got that idea. I hate this. Once in a while I love a Liverwurst on toasted rye with swiss and onions, provided the ingredients are high quality. This is not that. This is an abomination.”
“You’re just grouchy because we’re moving. It’s on hard on me too. Maybe you could be understanding.”
“I don’t understand why I just couldn’t eat at the club.”
“You like liverwurst.”
“No. I don’t like liverwurst. I don’t like pierogies either. I don’t know where you get the idea that I like these things. I don’t. You like them because they require zero effort. I hate them. There is no love in this sandwich. It’s haphazard bullshit.”
“Just eat it.”
So I eat it. It’s as bad as I thought. It sits in my stomach like a rock of garlicy indigestion.
I look at the boxes my wife has been packing.
I focus on two boxes. They are both extra-large U-haul moving boxes.
Box number one is completely filled with perhaps 400 pounds of hardcover books.
Box number two contains one item, a large stuffed teddy bear. Now that it is in a box it will be more difficult to move then when it was out of the box.
“What were you thinking,” I ask?
“Just stop. I’m going to sleep.”
I stare at the boxes.
One time I came home and my wife had made meatloaf.
She has a great recipe:
Take a 3 pound container of ground beef and remove plastic. Turn upside down and drop it into a large cookie sheet. Dump a can of prego on top of it and place in 350 degree oven for one hour or until it turns grey with a red scabby crust. Place on counter for two hours until husband comes home. Tell him dinner’s on the counter and to serve himself.
I have learned that they have made great advances in frozen pizza technology in recent years. I have taken to buying 8 or ten of these things and hiding them in the basement freezer.
Occasionally I’ll come home and see some El Paso tacos on the table. Some ground beef with a red stain of seasoning will be congealing in a frying pan.
“I made you dinner,” exclaims the wife!
I’ll walk downstairs get a Fropi and put it in the oven. Go upstairs and get changed. I’ll come down and sit on the couch with my Fropi.
“You don’t like dinner?”
“No, I’m kinda in the mood for a Fropi.”
“You like tacos.”
“You don’t like my tacos? I made them for you?”
“Sorry honey. I just want my pizza.”
“Can I have some?”
“It’s kind of a single serving. Leave me alone with my Fropi, please. Go eat a taco.”
“Please? Be a good share bear. I’m hungry for a piece.”
I’m left with crust.
Sometimes I take my Fropi and hide outside.
We were taking the air conditioner out of the basement. It’s a huge 220 unit, and probably weighs 200 pounds. It’s so awkward you can barely get your arms around it, and it’s edges bite into you while you’re carrying it.
The system is as follows. I will carry 90% of the weight of the air conditioner. All my wife has to do is keep her hands on the upper part to keep it stable since it’s too big for me to get a firm grip. As we go up a stair, the weight will shift slightly and she’ll have to bear perhaps 50 pounds for a moment. My wife throws hay bales around like frisbees and they weigh more than that. She loads and unloads 100 pound sacks of grain by herself. She is a Judo master, and posesses ungodly strength in her 120 pound frame. This is not a problem.
We’re going up the stairs.
Step. Shift. Step. Shift. The edges of the thing are cutting horribly into my forearms. I’m breathing deeply and trying to keep my back straight.
I go step. Shift.
My wife goes step. Step. Half the weight of the air conditioner shifts to my wife.
“Oww. That hurts. It’s cutting my arms. OWWW!”
“Hang on a sec,” I say as I start to come up to bear the weight.
“OwWWWW!” My wife pushes the air conditioner away from her, down the stairs at me, right as I’m coming up the step.
Suddenly I have the entire unstable weight of the air conditioner in my arms at about chest level. My wife’s pushing has now transferred the air conditioner’s and my center of balance about a foor and a half behind with considerable momentum.
I am looking at my wife’s face, and she is looking at my face.
I can see by her expression what is in my eyes. It matches what is in my heart and soul. There is a good deal of surprise at this sudden turn of events. That’s for sure. There’s also something else.
“You’ve just killed me,” is what my expression says.
“Oooops. I’ve just killed you,” is what my wife’s expression says.
I’m overbalanced and going over backwards. This is fucking it, and like every creature on this earth does in it’s final futile moments, the adrenaline pumps and my heart sings out the joyful scream of rage and pain as I attempt to prevent the inevitable.
Somehow my left foot goes down and finds the step. My back and knee torque horribly as they absorb the momentum of the runaway appliance whose edges bite deep into my arms and chest.
Little bits of gristle, tendon, cartilage, and disk squish and herniate as I struggle with everything I have to stop from cartwheeling backwards, and it’s not that good hurt that comes from exertion, it’s that hurt that makes you feel small and whimper like a girl, that saps your strength. It’s that hurt that tells you you are really fucking yourself up.
The momentum’s cancelled, but now the unstable monstrosity is moveing forwards. I charge forward after it, trying to maintain balance. I get up two steps somehow and crash the $1,000 appliance onto the landing, and scramble, pushing to get it over the edge and stable.
“Oh Holy Jesus! Fuck! Fucken Christ. Owww, shit. Goddamnit. Wha-fuck was that about!?!”
“Are you ok?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, GOddammit. I’m not ok.”
I come lumbering up the stairs like that crooked man who lived in a crooked house and had a crooked back.
“Oh no!” My wife yells and runs away.
Another time I was riding my motorcycly up from the pond. My wife doesn’t approve of the motorcycle.
I’m going 15 mph or so, and the dog jumps in front of me. I swerve to avoid the dog and lay the motorcycle down on it’s side. When the foot peg hits the ground it flips taking me with it.
I’m laying on the ground with the motorcycle on top of me, still running.
The exhaust pipe is laying against my leg, and the bike is still in gear. The chain is cutting into my other leg as it spins the back wheel. My knees and elbows are laid wide open and bleeding, and for a moment I’m dazed before the pain from the muffler brings me to my senses. I struggle, trying to reach the key and shut the thing off.
“I told you this was going to happen,” my wife says, standing next to the dog. “You almost hit my dog. I don’t know why you have to have that stupid thing. I knew you’d get hurt.”
“help,” I say, reaching for key. “help me.”
“It’s your own fault if something happens. You shouldn’t be riding that in the fields.”
“Help me, honey. Turn the key off.”
“I don’t know how to work that thing. I’m not getting near it. It looks like it’s going to explode any minute.”
“Jesus fucking Christ! I’m hurt. It’s burning me. I’m Dying. Save your fucking husband’s life, why don’t you? Stop bitching at me, and turn the goddamn motorcycle off!”
“Uh-oh, your mad.”
“Goddamn right, now hel… Where are you going?”
My wife runs away up to the house. later when I extricate myself and drag my bleeding carcass up to the house, my wife is on the phone in the bedroom.
“Let me in!” I want the first-aid kit. I need antiseptic, and Ibuprofen. I want to wash the pebbles out of my wounds. The door to the bedroom is locked.
“Is that you?”
“I’m on the phone.”
“I don’t care, let me in.”
“No. You’re mad. If I let you in, you’ll kill me. Hang on Mom. Mom? Don’t worry Mom, I won’t let him in.”
“I won’t kill you. I just want the first aid kit.”
“Mom?” she says “He says he wants the First-aid kit. (pause) No. I don’t beleive him either. Don’t worry I won’t let him in.”
“Let me in or I’m going to kill you!” I shout.
“Ohmygodmomhe’sgonna kill me!”