The Beast and I were reunited late Friday night after being apart for two weeks. (I was half way around the world on a work assignment.) As I walked up our stairs, he grabbed my bottom, as couples are wont to do after being separated for so long, and felt something unusual.
Beast: What the hell is that?
Foodie: It’s a maxi pad.
Foodie: Can you believe that I got my period right before having to take three flights and crossing the International Date Line to come home?
Beast: Why didn’t you buy tampons?
Foodie: I could only find the kind without an applicator and I don’t know how to use them.
Beast: [feeling again] Are you sure this isn’t one of those dribble pads for people with weak bladders?
Foodie: I know, right? But believe me, maxi pad technology has infinitely improved since I last used them, which was about 25 years ago. They’re not so bad, actually.
Beast: Wow, you really came back as a 40 year old, didn’t you.
It’s true: I did turn 40 while I was away. I may have even turned 40 twice, on account of that International Date Line.
It was lovely to be in such a beautiful place for my birthday surrounded by new friends. (I’ll tell you more about the trip soon, but the Big Reveal should really be on The Social the week of December 9. For now, suffice it to say–if you haven’t already guessed–that I was in a country, whose accent I managed to master before I left, in the southern hemisphere.)
But it also made me a bit melancholy to be away from old friends and my family. Maybe those blues were also on account of the number, too. I mean, 40. That’s half way, if I’m lucky. This little life right here is half over before it’s really over–before The Big Sleep. Besides that dark and fairly average revelation, 40 feels the same as 39.
Especially because we settled into familiar routines the next night: We ate a party-size Vesuvio pizza with a bottle of pinot noir I brought home and watched Flight Club, continuing our informal David Fincher film festival.
Beast: I really like Brad Pitt.
Foodie: So do I.
Beast: What do you call those lines that he has above the waist?
Foodie: I forget, but they’re glorious.
Beast: They should put them in the Smithsonian.
Foodie: Yeah, right. The Smithsonian. God I’d love to see him and Angelina make love.
Beast: Me too. I like Brad Pitt, man. Everything about him. Even the architecture BS.
Before bed, I gave the Beast a present I picked up for him at the airport. It was a sweater native to the country I visited that he’d requested before I left. It’s called a Coogi sweater. The tourism people with whom I travelled had previously talked me out of buying him one. They told me only tourists buy them. But at the airport, I couldn’t resist, even though they are the most fucking ugly sweaters I’ve ever seen.
Beast: OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH!
Foodie: Well, that makes me happy. I almost didn’t get you one because everyone kept telling me how touristy and tacky they are.
Beast: Uh, would you call rap and hip hop tacky?
Foodie: No, I guess not.
Beast: I don’t give a fuck what they think there! All I care about is C-O-M-P-T-O-N! And H-A-R-L-E-M! And B-R-O-O-K-L-Y-N!
I slept great the night before. But last night I bolted awake at 3:00 a.m. I read the latest New Yorker in bed until 4:30 a.m. Then I went downstairs, got the three pieces of leftover pizza from the fridge, poured myself a glass of wine and watched Pride and Prejudice on the couch. I woke up at 9:30 a.m. to find the Beast, in his new sweater, smiling down at me.
He looked beautiful in the sweater. He encouraged me to get up so that I might sleep well tonight. Then, after gently removing pizza sauce from my brow and the corner of my mouth, he kissed me good-bye.