Sunday - Maxine Phoenix

            You’ve found me even more insufferable than usual today. The door frame may give out if you slam it again. Sorry—I keep forgetting to replace those bolts. Shutting it firmly will produce the same effect, I promise you, especially following your roar at six forty-three in the morning with the dog sniffing at my ass as I watch you putting on a tie in the mirror behind me.

            I counted seven eyebrow furrows in the car to the clinic. Your sneers weren’t lost on me either—your teeth caught the light from the sunrise and the other cars’ headlights. I couldn’t help but look; it’s that new toothpaste. You didn’t accept my change for the meter, preferring to dig around under the crusty floor mats for a couple of quarters and eight nickels. The whole thing was useless, though. Meters don’t accept nickels. They only eat them.

            This morning, once we got back, you declined tea and coffee, eggs and bacon, the other halves of yesterday’s grapefruit and last night’s avocado, toast and a smoothie and the morning paper. I hope that leaving you a glass of water, some dry cheerios, and your new pills was sufficient. I’ll buy more milk tomorrow.

            You made me take out the dog but forgot to give me a pooper-scooper.

            I kept my mouth clamped around my toothbrush and didn’t even flinch when you swore—screamed—at the lack of toilet paper and asked me why I hadn’t gone to get more. When I got a new roll from the hall closet and slid it through the door crack, you muttered that it was too late. Kleenex had to suffice, I reckon. I’m proud of myself for keeping some of that stocked in the bathroom, at least.

            This afternoon I grabbed your wrist to force you to drop your pill bottle. You had them this morning! I laid them out for you, idiot. Twisting your wrist was a mistake, though; I understand your anger at me here. Maybe you’ll understand the reasoning I’ll try on you later: pills aren’t Sweet Tarts or M&Ms. I can buy you some of those, if you want.

            You yelled at me for letting the dog back in once you found your chewed-up Wall Street Journal alongside the family of squeaky toys. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned the uselessness of reading the morning paper in the afternoon when you had the Internet and cable television at a two-fingered click to tell you all you had—and hadn’t—missed. It was just the loss of those daily crosswords that made you upset. You’d have asked me to solve them for you, anyway.

            I didn’t complain when you tousled my hair but then pulled it a little too sharply, mentioning a cut in the near future because it—my hair, that is—was completely indecent. Scraping it back with a little water and your comb only made you sigh and pull your sweater up over your eyes. I blinked in response and went back into our bathroom but we don’t keep scissors in there anymore.

            This evening you told me the chicken was overcooked and that that was typical of me. Chicken, you sighed, should be tender, not of a consistency resembling my wallet. Frankly, I’m not sure I should have microwaved it, but I didn’t want to use the oven again. The fire department would’ve come and the door would have finally fallen off those rusty hinges.

            You gave me a glare instead of a kiss when I offered my face up, arms around your waist, and pinched your nose between your forefinger and thumb instead of rendering an explanation. My peace offering of finally kicking the dog’s bed out of our room and into the office—one less snorer—seemed unsuccessful; You threw your glasses case at me.

            I did hear one more mumbled, Oh, I love you,” than usual.