At Home

Always with the hot sauce

I was home alone last night so I did what anyone else in their right mind would do. After successfully installing a new set of shower curtains, I scrubbed the tub, harvested some chin hairs, grilled some halloumi, made a simple arugula salad with zucchini, mint, pecorino, and asparagus, poured myself a glass of cheap rosé, and watched Megan Leavey, a 2017 film about a U.S. Marine who returns from Iraq and eventually reunites with her bomb-sniffing combat dog.

To think that I have six more nights of this single lifestyle fills me with bliss.

The Beast left for Los Angeles yesterday morning. He is there for a week visiting his friend Nick and putting the final touches on a screenplay that the two of them co-wrote.  It’s kind of like a business trip, which means it’s the Beast’s first business trip.

We texted back and forth after he got through airport security. He told me I would’ve loved the attendant at the gate: “There are only 31 passengers in Zone 3 so I don’t know why you are all lining up,” she said to the crowd lining up.

I’d love to invite her over for dinner tonight—maybe a summer sausage sandwich (or two), the sort of meal I wouldn’t make for anyone else because it seems too simple. Then again, if she’s the sort that will talk through tonight’s double bill featuring Young Victoria and Mrs. Brown, I might be better off alone.

The hope is, the Beast told me before he left, that I won’t enjoy being alone too much; that I’ll take some time for myself but will also notice how much he does for me. For example I had to take out the green bin and the garbage bin to the curb this morning and put them back when I got home from work. I will also have to make my own dinner.

But the fear is, he added, that I’ll discover life is actually easier without him.

Of course I told him that was impossible; although it will be easier to wear his clothes with him gone because although he’s banned me from wearing them, he’ll have no idea if I do.

The ban was implemented a few weeks ago after I stained a second shirt of his. The first time, I think it was Frank’s hot sauce that dribbled down my chin and onto my chest, which was covered by the shirt. The second time, it was oil from the Terroni hot peppers.

“I love you–and I love that you want to be close to me via wearing my clothes–but this has got to stop,” he said. As he watched me trying to scrub the stain clean at the kitchen sink, I heard him murmur: “Always with the hot sauce.”

It will certainly be easier to hide my self-doubt followed by self-loathing. Normally I make at least some attempt to hide them when I get home from work. But now I can come home, put on a caftan, and walk around the house sighing a lot.

I have nothing to say worth saying, or that hasn’t already been said better than I ever could. What am I doing? What will I do? I should call my mom. I should call my dad. I should ask Sarah to meet up for a drink. I miss her. Oh god they’ve just added Season 5 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Netflix. 

Today my pathetic affliction started after I read that a young writer always has flashbacks to her childhood when she hears The Avengers’ theme song. I don’t know when the first Avengers movie was but I know I was not a child. If I find out that said writer waxes with nostalgia upon hearing ’70s and ’80s film scores by Jerry Goldsmith orJohn Williams, I will whisper to myself Stay in your lane.

It escalated after I posted a story on The Social’s website that was clearly satire. Someone commented “Is this satire?” and I checked out for the rest of the day–unless, that is, you count searching for hotels south of Napoli for an upcoming trip that you don’t even know will happen “work”.

Maybe instead of watching movies I’ve seen a hundred times, I’ll try watching something else tonight. That’s one thing I can count on the Beast for: making me watch movies I’d never watch on my own: Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky, Mike Nichols’ Carnal Knowledge, Donna Deitch’s Desert Hearts, Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher, Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours, and Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame de…

In turn, I made him watch Paddington 2. He didn’t even argue, like I do.

There was no argument, however, on the eve of his birthday when I made oven-baked French fries, grilled superb steaks in the cast iron pan, sautéed some greens, cracked open a bottle of Barolo we picked up in Buffalo, and dialled up the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

And he’s been passing along books, too: I didn’t think I cared for Philip Roth, who, coincidentally, passed away today, after I didn’t make it past page 20 of Portnoy’s Complaint. But then I burned through The Human Stain and am now half-way through The Ghost Writer. And I just finished Renata Adler’s Speedboat–which were all recommended by the Beast.

The day before he left, we walked to our local library branch so he could return eight DVDs. “Are you sure you don’t want to watch that documentary on ravens?” he asked, right before dropping them into the slot.

“Christ, no,” I thought. Although now I wish I’d held that one back.

Categories: At Home

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