Sunday, March 05, 2017

Doing "Stuff" with Goat Boy



I usually go to bed early. But last night I sat in my chair reading a boring book. I read many boring books. I cannot find what I want unless I do. So … at least one of you is curious about the book. It was Lloyd Douglas’ Doctor Hudson’s Secret Journal, 1930s religious philosophy in the guise of fiction. Nasty book, nasty philosophy.
So the book put me to sleep. My pet man gently shook me awake. You might think he was solicitous, willing to shepherd me off to bed and a snuggle. Or maybe he wished to remind me to take my pill. No. Not so. Not at all so.
“I’m hungry,” he says.
“I don’t want to cook,” I reply. With some effort, I focus my eyes. “What time is it, anyway?”
“Eleven-thirty. Let’s go to …” [I’ll call it Sam’s. Not its real name. It’s an all night coffee, sandwich and soup place.]
“What about the kids?”
“They’re all asleep except for Arpita.” Arpita is our oldest but third to enter our family. Her sisters alternately adore her and find her irritating. She’s in bed texting a friend who lives in Ohio.
“Your mom and I are going out,” Goat Boy says.
“It’s really late,” Arpita says. Her eyes reflect suspicion. “Where are you going?”
“Sam’s,” he says. “Just us.”
She asks why.
“We’re hungry,”
She asks how long we’ll be gone.
“Don’t know,” he says. “Hours maybe.”
“Dad!” she says.
“We’ll get home when we get home. Call if you need us. … Might be a while. I may take your mom to a secluded spot, and we might kiss and …”
“Dad,” she repeats. “I don’t want to know … and you should stop teasing me.”

We take my old Mercury. I’m short and the seats adjust to my height. I drive. I seldom do anymore because post-surgery I’m mostly housebound.
Sam’s is right on the edge of the seedier side of town. It’s been there since the late 1940s. It hasn’t been updated since probably 1980 or so. But it’s clean (usually), and they have really good food.
I yawn as we enter, a long, un-ladylike yawn. We’re served coffee without being asked. That’s not novel. Go there once, and they’re likely to remember your preferences. Goat Boy orders a toasted cheese and ham sandwich. I ask for a Reuben with slaw and fries.      
We chat. Almost none of our conversation matters. We exchange ideas, complaints about the day, concerns, talk about my newish black shoes. He likes them. So do I. He pats my hand, asking how I am. Much better.
The food comes. It smells delicious. I think but do not say that the waiter should wash the grease out of his hair. It’s rude to say things like that to strangers, but it’s not rude to think it.
The waiter pours a second cup of coffee for us both. It’s good coffee. Pet Man orders pumpkin pie. I consider that, but decide on banana cream pie.
We pay and leave.
I yawn again, neglecting to cover my mouth. “That was good,” he says.
I agree.

In the dim light of a distant street lamp ...

He drives. He does not head home.
“Where are you taking me? … Are you abducting me?” I ask.
“Prospect,” he says. Prospect Point isn’t its real name, but that’s what people call it. It overlooks the river. The road dead ends there; back in the day it was a place to park and snuggle. And stuff … Now it attracts old guys with fishing poles.
I turn 40 this year, but snuggling [and stuff] in the dim light of a distant street lamp was as fun as it was when I was 20.

My phone binged. That’s the text message sound. It’s Arpita. “I’m not waiting up for you,” she’s written. I text back, “Okay.” Sometimes she thinks she's the mother and we’re the children.
We get home sometime after two-thirty. He has to hold my arm; I’m loopy from lack of sleep and stuff … It usually takes me fifteen or twenty minutes to fall asleep. I don’t remember putting my head on the pillow.

And … how was your night?

2 comments:

An occasional reader said...

...prolly not quite so exciting...

roberto said...

Rachael, you have the ability to make me see movies.