“You’ll be fine, right?” she said. “There’s all the food in the fridge and freezer, bread, buns, English Muffins, Eggos for breakfast, two cereals, soups, pizzas.”
“I’ll be fine,” I replied. “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you, too. I can’t wait to see you again.”
“It’s three weeks, it’ll fly by.”
“You’ll be okay?”
Random scenes in the week and a half since that day:
* Played in hoops league on a Wednesday night. Always try to eat a little sandwich before, then a little meal after. Put together a ham and cheese sandwich at 6 p.m. Played hoops at 8, went out for beers at 10, returned home at midnight. Showered, contemplated retirement, nursed a blister the size of my palm that now resides on my left foot, wandered back into the kitchen. Saw the ham from the earlier ham and cheese sandwich. Had forgotten to put it back in the fridge. There it sat in its plastic, totally exposed. Looked around for rats. Felt shame. Wondered if it was still edible. Can ham be in the open air for six hours? Wondered what Louise would do. Threw it away. Wondered what Louise would say.
* I do the dishes every night so nothing’s changed on that end, although the home’s dish use has dropped 98 percent. Paper plate use has increased 325 percent.
* Sitting on the couch, looking at my native surroundings. Jeans draped over railing, shirt over a chair, socks resting comfortably on the floor beneath the pants, happy to be experiencing a bit of freedom from the laundry bag. Socks need floor time. Magazines and Sunday Times stacking up on a chair in the eating area, as if they’re a set piece for an upcoming episode of Hoarders.
* Spent a day and night watching five parts of classic ’80s miniseries V and V: The Final Battle. Found the old tapes at the bottom of my bin of old VHS tapes. And Louise wanted me to throw them away! Gain a new appreciation for Marc Singer’s Mike Donovan, truly one of the more underrated ’80s action heroes. Not only a gutsy cameraman who went into war zones, but the guy helped save the human race, rescued his son from a mother ship, proved to be a considerate lover to Julie and found time to snap off witty comebacks, all while fighting off guinea pig-eating aliens with vibrating voices. Realize it’s 3:30 a.m. Watch The V die thanks to the red dust created by the resistance, released by…hot air balloons. Sigh heavily. Go to bed.
* God I need to shave. But what’s the point?
* Four Eggo Waffles for dinner. Three microwaved sausage links, which makes said links all but inedible. Still eat them. Feel sick.
* There’s nothing like climbing into a freshly made bed. So warm, cozy, inviting, safe. We try and make it every day. Bed hasn’t been made in 10 days.
* Lunch, lunch, lunch, what to do for lunch. Yes, she makes my lunch each day. Yes I’m spoiled. Yes, yes, I’m more aware than anyone, since I’m the one who opens the lunch bag each day and is greeted by a sandwiched wrapped with care – and love – in aluminum foil. If it’s hot dogs she includes tiny ketchup packets, the buns wrapped for safekeeping in separate plastic bags. Lunch, lunch, what to do for lunch. Throw in a can of chicken soup. Next day, second can of soup. Put the bowl directly into my bag.
* In bed all day Saturday with a cold and headache. Emerge to go to grocery store for soda. Back to bed. No one here to take care of me. Worse: No one here to hear me whine.
* Ten-thirty at night, so hungry. Why didn’t I eat dinner earlier? Oh, was watching Fletch for the 456th time while eating an entire box of Whoppers. Maybe make some sandwiches. Sit down with can opener, can of tuna, gallon of milk. Eat tuna from the can, drink milk from the carton. Take stock of life. Put off coming to conclusions.
* Watch trailer for Denzel Washington’s Safe House, which is set in Cape Town. Will be there in a week and a half. Warm Cape Town. Inviting Cape Town. A city with bread, milk in a bag and made beds.
* Talk to Louise, finally.
“How are things going, honey? Have you gone through all the food? Is everything going okay?”