We’ve had a couple of extraordinary date nights during the last couple of weeks.
Last night the Beast suggested we pick up Maker Pizza after work and finish watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. We’d started the film the night before but I couldn’t stay up to finish it, maybe because I was full of an incredible minestrone-style soup the Beast had made (the secret, he says, is popping in some parmigiano rinds as it simmers, and sautéing the mirepoix in more butter than you think you need) and this Sicilian Nero d’Avola, which was worth every cent of the splurge. Or perhaps it was because we’d already finished Francois Truffault’s The 400 Blows, a movie that the Beast gets quite choked up about, especially the ending, and which I remember not warming to in the same way. This time around, however, it hit home in all the right ways. What a beautifully sad film!
On Friday afternoon, the Beast and his boyfriends drove to Markdale, Ont., to spend two nights at their friend Tom’s bed and breakfast.
I’m home alone, which is extremely rare and extremely exciting.
After work on Friday I walked down Roncesvalles overwhelmed with dinner possibilities. I could eat anything! I passed Pizza Nova. For a recent solo dinner of his own, the Beast enjoyed their walk-in special, a medium-sized pepperoni pizza for only $8.99–only he upgraded it to an extra-large and ate the entire thing along with a bottle of white wine.
The Beast whipped up a beautiful dinner earlier this week. He boiled little potatoes and green beans, grilled some trout, and dressed it all with grainy mustard, white wine vinegar, shallots, and olive oil. Personally, I would have kept the grilled trout on the side but I’ve learned to keep these dark thoughts to myself.
And besides, I was wrong. It was an excellent meal.
When I saw Ontario red, yellow, and orange peppers on sale at the No Frills for $1.97 a lb, I thought What could be better than turning on the oven and baking stuffed peppers for an hour in an apartment with no AC?
There’s this story that a friend of mine told me almost two decades ago so the details are fuzzy but here’s what I remember: She was living and working two or three jobs in Florence, Italy and had a real Italian boyfriend. Her Italian was fantastic. She spoke it a mile a minute. One day she had an opportunity to make a little extra money at this catering event. She was serving breakfast to a bunch of fancy Italian men. She circulated through the room carrying a pitcher of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. “Pompino?” she offered them. She thought pompino meant “grapefruit”. She couldn’t understand why the men were laughing and saying: “Si, si, signorina!” Turns out pompelmo is grapefruit in Italian, not pompino. Pompino means “blow job”.
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.
It is not uncommon for the Beast to have to fend for himself on a weeknight.
It is extremely rare, however, to find myself home alone. When it does happen, I am often overwhelmed with the anticipation of freedom: the very idea that I can eat and drink and watch whatever I want, with no debate, both thrills and paralyses me. Anything could happen.
Two weeks ago, the Beast had plans to see a concert with his older brother. It was happening. I was going to be home alone.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do tonight,” I told him that morning before I left for work.
“You could do what I do: read a play, masturbate, and then watch old episodes of Frontline on YouTube.”