On His Best Behavior


I’m working from the library again today.  I like writing in libraries and bookstores, surrounded by literally all the words; genius and mediocrity, all of it poured out on the page and bound up in that sacred form… so many hopes and dreams realized, and some truly great writers who – at least, this is what I tell myself so that I can sleep at night – never lived up to their own standards.


Libraries are a bit nicer, though, because I don’t feel pressured to buy anything.[1]



This time I went to a different branch, and got myself a study room, with walls and a door that locks, and lights that I can leave off because I kind of need it dim today, and nobody can wander by and peek over my shoulder, or sneak up on me and ask what I’m doing, or what kind of laptop this is[2] or anything.



quiet workspace

Shhh… Bliss.



Husband has been slowly getting reacclimated to the office, though it’s been rough since everything is moving slow right now and there’s basically nothing for him to do.  It’s leaving his brain a little too much freedom, which is potentially dangerous.



ME:  (sitting quietly, working)
HIM:  (via text)  I’m not used to holding the stupid in at work.  I just overheard someone mention that last year, Jack-in-the-Box sold $56 MILLION worth of tacos.  My first thought?  “What fat person could eat THAT MANY tacos???”



frantic shush



I won’t lie, I’m a little worried about boredom, kicking around a town I’ve never liked all by myself in the dead of winter.  But this has also been a nice way to wean me off having my husband with me every day, since I’d sort of gotten used to that.  He’s bored enough to text me often, and we have lunch together, though now we tend to talk more about the latest news with the few of his coworkers I actually know.



ME:  … But he was a horrible person.  And it’s not even his fault: his parents named him Stupid Dick Cockring,[3] for God’s sake.  There’s no coming back from that!
HIM:  (looks around nervously)  Shhh…
ME:  What?  Nobody here knows him.
HIM:  You don’t know that.
ME:  You want me to stand up and say it louder, to prove it to you?
HIM:  Please don’t.  Remember that “say nothing, keep your job” thing you were telling me earlier?  Let’s keep that going.
ME:  Fine…
HIM:  Still not sure who ate all those tacos
ME:  (sighs)
HIM:  (laughing)
ME:  You know, the real takeaway from that story is not that you’ve fallen out of the habit of holding it in at work, but that I let you get away with way too much at home.  You’ve apparently decided that you don’t need to worry about my opinion of you at all.
HIM:  Some people unbutton their pants when they get home…
ME:  (groans)
HIM:  … I let my stupid off its leash!



Al Bundy

I shouldn’t complain… it could be worse.



Really, the biggest downside remains the “driving with him in the car” bit.  And I can tell he’s trying not to be awful… when he’s not trying to be awful.



ME:  Where to for lunch?
HIM:  How about (local place)?
ME:  (nods)  Fine, but you’ll have to direct me.
HIM:  Okay, put the car in reverse and turn the wheel to the right, you’re going to want to back out of this space and to the side a bit…
ME:  (hard glare)
HIM:  I’m sorry, I’ll stop.
ME:  (continues backing out)
HIM:  Now you’ll want to put it in Drive to go forward.  That’s the one with the “D”…
ME:  (hard brake)
HIM:  You’re right, you should stop first.
ME:  (pauses to clench jaw a few times)
HIM:  I love you!







[1] Starbucks is right out for this reason, as well as the fact that whenever I’ve tried to sit down and get serious there I’ve found myself surrounded by hipsters watching YouTube videos and that one guy who thinks it’s okay to handle his divorce via FaceTime.   


[2] I am, tragically, stuck lugging around my massive gaming laptop while all of this is going on.  My much smaller, sleeker, compact model was loaned out to a friend two years ago, who apparently loaned it to her father, who whisked it away to parts unknown, so this beast gets a lot of attention just for leaving the house.


[3] Not his actual name, obviously.  But close, and his last name sounds very similar to a sex toy, and it slipped out that way once and sort of stuck.  Also, I maintain that he should have to get his first name legally changed to “Stupid” to save everyone the trouble of learning it the hard way.  There’s a history, and I’m bitter.



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