It's 6:45. I am watching TV. My girlfriend is supposed to come over tonight so I haven't started cooking dinner yet for us because I have yet to hear from her. I am starving and I take an expectant look at my phone, but it is fruitless. I could call, but I know better. When she is late like this, it means she won't answer her phone until she is done.
And I know she isn't at work because I got a text as she was leaving. I know where she is--with her other love. So I turn on my Xbox, and drown myself in gory violence.
Another 30 minutes have passed by the time the phone rings. "Hello?"
"Sorry, I'll be home in another hour or two."
"Should I start dinner?"
"Yes, I am starving. Bye!" ***
You can hear how happy she is on the other line. When she left this morning, she was in a horrible mood. She is certainly not a morning person. Now, after seeing Joey, she is happy. I get up, walk over to the kitchen, and being cutting up tomatoes for my homemade pasta sauce. It's one of my favorite comfort foods.
The process takes a while. Each tomato has to be diced, seeded, skinned and then roasted in the oven. The smells that intertwine with each other float throughout the house. Garlic, onion, oregano, thyme. Of course the tomatoes are the strongest smell. Slowly darkening. The whole process takes about two hours. So I walk back and forth from the TV to check on everything. I almost done when I hear the door slam. It's taken her two hours, the maximum time she allocated herself to stay with Joey, which is no surprise.
She comes into the kitchen. It's clear what she has been doing. Her hair, despite her best attempts at taming it, is all over the place, strands of curly hair betraying her ponytail. Its obvious that she has been sweating pretty hard in the past couple of hours. She gives me a quick kiss on the cheek and then runs upstairs to take a shower so she can hide his smell. I turn back and continue on my work. I begin to mash the roasted tomatoes up, pour in some red wine to enhance the flavor, pull out the freshly made meatballs from the oven as well, and let them marinate a bit in the sauce.
By the time she returns, dinner is ready. The sauce is perfect. A dark, almost forbidding red, which matches nicely to a glass of red wine. She takes a sip and walks over to the TV, saying as she goes, "Hey baby, your room is a bit of mess. You should pick up your clothes and put them in the wash."
I know that Joey is a complete animal, who never, and I doubt, ever does pick up after himself. She always talks about how when she see him, the first thing she does is pick up all of his shit, and then hand feeds him. It doesn't matter if he is being sweet or bad, she does it all the same. I, however, do not receive such royal treatment. And never have. And I doubt ever will.
I just don't understand their relationship. I know that when I walk over to her with my plate in hand, she will want to talk about all the things they did. She might briefly mention how work was, especially if anything peculiar happened. But without a doubt, Joey will enter the the conversation. She always brags about how he, for a few minutes, did everything she asked of him… which usually entails walking in a circle a few times, and not being scared of a plastic bag. I will nod my head, asking her a few more questions about the subject, but all the time, all I really want to point out is that I have never been scared of a plastic bag, and for the most part, I can walk in a circle when asked to.
***Some events in this account have been fictionalized. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.