On the telephone yesterday evening.
Beast: How many eggs are too many for one person to eat in one day?
Foodie (whispering): I don’t know. Maybe six. No, four.
Beast: Why are you whispering?
Foodie: Because I’m at work.
Beast: What time are you coming home?
Foodie: In about an hour.
Beast: Can you pick up some bread?
Foodie: What for?
Beast: Because I’m making dinner and we’re having Jewish salami and eggs.
Foodie: Why did you ask how many eggs are too much to eat in one day?
Beast: Because I had Jewish salami and eggs for lunch.
Foodie: What’s Jewish salami?
Beast: It’s amazing that’s what it is. It’s called Chicago 58 and it’s kosher.
The toilet flushes.
Foodie: What was that?
Beast: I just flushed the toilet.
Foodie: You just went to the bathroom while talking on the phone with me?
Foodie: I think our relationship has just entered a new phase.
Beast: A good or a bad phase?
Foodie: I haven’t decided yet.
When I got home about an hour later I heard the sound of a spaz beating drums with his bare hands coming from the upstairs. I walked into the living room which had a pile of newspapers shoved under the coffee table, a baritone saxophone propped upright beside the fireplace and a some sort of metal drum pedal apparatus resting in the middle of the carpet.
Foodie (yelling to the upstairs): I’m going for a walk to pick up the next Deadwood DVD from the video place.
Beast: Okay. (Pause) Want me to come with you?
Foodie: No. It sounds like you’re in the middle of something quite interesting. And this way, you’ll have time to finish tidying up down here.
Before I left, I walked into the dining room to put down my book bag and looked around. I wondered how I had been in here a hundred times before and hadn’t noticed the piles of mess that I now saw everywhere. I also wondered why the mess was bothering me so much.
Then I walked to the video store looking down at my boots the whole way and talking myself out of losing my shit over a few piles of junk. Then I thought, you are talking to yourself and dragging your feet and acting kind of crazy. Just stop, would you?
When I got home, the living room had been tidied. I breathed a sigh of relief because now I wouldn’t turn crazy. Then I went upstairs where I found the Beast listening to funny-sounding music in the bedroom and reading a copy of something I wrote to enter in a short story contest.
Foodie: What do you think?
Beast: It’s good, but you didn’t provide enough description.
Foodie: Yes I did–what about the part where I say, The sea looked like the Mediterranean.
Beast: Yeah, that’s got to go. And I meant descriptions about people: you don’t really describe the characters.
Foodie: You’re right. Thank you. Thank you so much for reading it.
Beast: It was hurtful too.
Foodie: What do you mean?
Beast: The story is hurtful. It hurt me to read it.
Foodie: Oh god, no! But it’s fiction! (Pause) And that was a long time ago.
Beast: You’re a hurtful person!
Foodie: Are you joking or being serious?
Beast: Why do you ask?
Foodie: Because you’re listening to funny-sounding music and–
Beast: It’s Portugese folk music!
Foodie: And you said, “you’re a hurtful person,” in a whiny retarded voice and you’re flailing your arms up and down like a girl.
Beast: I’m kind of joking. Did you see that I tidied the living room?
Foodie: Thank you so much for doing that. You’re so thoughtful.
Beast: AND I’m making dinner tonight.
Foodie: I know, I can’t believe it. I’m so excited to eat this salami and egg thing.
Beast: You’re going to love it!
And I did love it. Actually, the Beast’s salami and eggs has been the best dinner we’ve eaten all week. He even tidied up after.