Pulling Back the Curtain

1Confession #1: When I get home from work I like to decompress a bit. Odds are I’ve been sitting in my car for anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour by the time I get into the living room. The point, I guess, is that  I don’t want to talk to anybody – including and especially – the people I love most.

Confession #2: I drive home with the vague promise of a Coke with dinner in my mind. When I get home, I remember that we’re out of Coke. This fills me with rage and sadness which manifests itself in sarcastic and belittling comments directed at the other types of soda in the house. “Oh, I guess I’ll have to settle for you, stupid A&W root beer,” I’ll say with a gruff voice.

Confession #3: I also forget that the body wash I bought this past weekend sucks. It is something I completely forget, even as I am walking into the shower. Even as I am washing my hair. Even as I pull my wash cloth from the wall. Then I look down at that Nivea moisturizing body wash and I swear. It’s a whisper-swear. Part of the hatred is directed at myself. I was lured in by the low price point. The pump at the top of the bottle is always attractive. And then I find out that the soap refuses to lather at an acceptable rate and I swear. If I were to remember this problem at any point during my drive home, I would have to think long and hard about taking a detour to buy another bottle of something better.

Confession #4: My eye doctor said I wear my contacts too much. I’ve got these little bumps starting for form under my eyelids. I have resolved to wear my glasses once a week and take my lenses out as soon as I get home. I have already succeeded in the first part and failed in the second. My choice to wear glasses on Monday was met with derision. “Ho, Mistah, not the smaht-guy glasses, ah?” “Oh, sorry, sorry, smart guy.” “You look weird in glasses.”

Confession #5: I don’t eat lunch two or three times a week so by the time dinner rolls around I am famished. I want to eat the world. But since that is not physically possible, I eat as much dinner as I can, leaving me in a state which can best be described as a mixture of discomfort, self-loathing, satisfaction, and lethargy. This is the fuel for my final meaningful act of the day.

Confession #6: Once I have digested (kind of) the generous helpings of dinner, I plop myself down in front of the twins. At this time, they’ve eaten and are generally peacefully seated in their bouncers. I summon the final fumes of energy to speak to my babies. I ask them how they spent their day. I answer for them. I poke them. I scratch them. I tickle them. Then, I tell them about my day. And all of this is done in Mr. Higa’s voice. The smile. Avery laughs. Cole vacillates between happiness and fear. He makes this face that starts with the curling of his lower lip. Then, his eyes close, his face falls apart, and he starts crying. Whenever I see the lip curl, I try a preemptive strike. “Stong in the heart, boy,” I say. I poke him in the chest right around where I assume his heart is. This usually prevents him from crying, but I’m not sure if it’s because he’s strong in heart or because he thinks I’m tickling him. Doesn’t really matter, I guess.

Confession #7: Lynnette’s moved back into the room. The twins only wake up once or twice over the course of the night now, so Lynnette has returned to the bedroom and has brought the monitor with her. This stirs a great ambivalence in me. I had grown accustomed to sleeping in the middle of the bed rather than the dent in the memory foam on my side of the bed. I was free to roll, stretch, and use as much or little of the comforter as I pleased. But now Lynnette is back to hoard the comforter. She’s one of those people who cover themselves entirely and tuck parts of it under them, using even more of the comforter. I also try to cuddle with her, but it’s been so long, she feels like a stranger. There’s a stranger in my bed. Granted, she’s a hot stranger, but still. This will take some adjusting to.

 

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