Thursday, January 24, 2008

After all that, it's come to this

Brrrrriiiiiinnnnnngggggg!!!! I get up from bed, and head towards the laundry, placing my book on my pillow as I get up. MTG stays lying down flipping through channels on the telly. I like this dryer, it sounds much nicer than the awful buzz alarm that my last one had. Picking up the green over-sized laundry basket, I grab a Bounce sheet and use it to wipe away all the dust that's been collecting in it.

It's been almost two full weeks since I've been home. There's a hell of a lot of laundry to do. Thankfully this is the last load. I've been doing laundry ever since I got home from work. Coming home after a trip is always nice. It's nice to sleep in your own bed again, take a shower in your own bath, lounge around on your own couch. There's no place like home.

I scoop out the clothes and put them in the basket. I turn the dryer drum around a few times to make sure there are no rouge socks or undies trying to hide. While I'm at it I clean out the lint trap so I won't have to worry about it next time. I giant ball of fuzz comes out with the lint net, particles flying in different directions making me sneeze. Pushing down the clothes in the basket so they won't fall out, I walk back to the bed room and dump them all on the foot of the bed. MTG is still watching TV, looking extremely tired. It's only 6:30. I begin folding clothes. I never really thought that I would be folding a woman's clothes along with mine, yet here I am folding my clothes along with MTG's. Though to be honest I'm not quite sure how to fold some of MTG's clothes. I swear some women's clothing needs to come with instructions for men so we know how to fold them. After I while I give up and fold it into a neat ball. MTG looks at me and giggles, and reaches for the item and shows me how to fold it. It's good to hear her laugh. It's been almost a week since she's been calm and feeling good enough to giggle.

I continue folding clothes, not paying attention to what MTG has on the telly. I hear something odd that she's watching but I don't pay attention. The mound of clothes has my full attention and I intend to finish folding it all and putting it away. Suddenly without reason MTG starts laughing uncontrollably. I stare at her puzzled, wondering if it's something I did. She's turning bright red she's laughing so hard. Finally she points at the TV. I turn around, she's watching Cinemax, well one of them anyway, the complete package system has like 20 of them. She has it on one of those semi-erotic Cinemax shows. You know the ones where all they show is the ladies boobs and the guys butt and that's the amount of nudity you see. Yeah that. The guy is making this weird face and flailing his head all over the place. It looks like he's going into shock or having an epileptic seizure, it looks so ridiculous. I look back at MTG and roll my eyes, throwing a pair of socks at her.

Me: Grow up.

MTG: (laughing) Look at him! He's looks like his head is going to fall off the way he's rolling it all over the place.

Me: You know those shows, all about keeping it real. Maybe I should try moving my head like that sometime. What do you think?

MTG laughs even harder.

MTG: If you do that, I'd just have to stop you right then and there. I don't want you having a seizure on me.

I turn around and watch. Both of the actors (I guess you can call them that) look ridiculous. Fake bodies, fake love, fake everything. And the music is awful.

MTG: Look at them, no sweat no nothing.

Me: Geeze, that guys been waxed all over, there's not a hair on him.

I can't help but think how it must of hurt like hell to have the hair taken off his bum. Ouch!! MTG keeps laughing and finally changes the channel. She ends up putting it on HGTV. (Which I'll admit is my favorite channel. I dunno why. I might have point taken off my man license for admitting that though.) After a few minutes MTG puts it on the Travel Channel (My second fav.) A program on what not to do on cruises is playing. MTG is fading fast, exhausted from all the events of earlier this week and last. Her eyes start to slowly close, and she slowly starts sliding down from the headboard where she is leaning against. She pulls her legs toward her and wraps her arms around them. I leave for a moment to grab some hangers from the laundry room. When I come back she's still sitting like that, with her head on her knees.

MTG: I just came from vacation right? I'm rested right?

Me: Yes you did. You had a wonderful time.

MTG: Then why doesn't it feel like it?

I put the jeans I'm hanging up down for a minute and scoot next to her.

Me: Because unexpected circumstances happened. And you handled it superbly.

MTG: (softly) yeah....?

Me: Yeah

MTG slowly stretches out more sliding down further in the bed. I go back to hanging up the jeans. I start folding more clothes again. A few minutes later, I hear MTG snoring softly. I turn the volume down on the TV so you can barely hear it. She's fallen asleep on top of her cover so I get mine and place it over her. Another 30 minutes later, I finally finish folding everything.

It's barely 8 pm, and there's still too early to sleep. I head downstairs to clean up. The kitchen is already clean though. I place a mix CD I made on the player in the kitchen and turn it low so I don't wake up MTG. Sia's "I Go to Sleep" plays hauntingly yet beautifully from the speakers.

I have a loaf of brioche bread that I need to use before it goes bad, along with some fruit that I have. I decide to make bread pudding with caramelized winter fruit so the bread and fruit doesn't go bad. I follow a recipe I got off the Washington Post website. Per the instructions I cut the crusts from the bread leaving the top crust intact. I beat the eggs, sugar and salt, orange-flower water, (can you believe I had that?), vanilla extract (real vanilla extract in the bottle from Mexico, trust me buy the real stuff you'll never go back), I make a custard. I dip the bread in the mixture, and put it in the baking sheet. I place a large pan in the pre-heated oven and then the one with the bread inside it and pour water into the large pan. I leave it alone and start the fruit.

I follow the directions and place the orange-water, lemon juice, candied orange peel, brandy and raisins in a bowl too mix. I then cut up the various fruits that I have around, pretty much using what I have since I don't have a whole lot or in some cases any of what the recipe calls for. Apples, Pears, strawberries, a few raspberries, go into my mix. I place the fruit in a large skillet already coated with butter, and cook the fruit. A follow the instructions and add sugar and the raisin, brandy, orange water mixture a few minutes later, reducing the concoction down, then putting a large splash more of brandy in causing a glorious blue flame. Ok so the recipe said a few teaspoons, but rules are made to be broken, especially when it comes to brandy. I reduce it all down till everything is a light brown caramelized mass of gooey deliciousness. I set it aside and cover it up. I check on the bread, it still needs another 20 mintues or so.

I decide to clean up the living room some. Mostly dusting. I take my time, picking up this and that and cleaning up the dust bunnies. MTG left her purse on the coffee table, with her keys and other stuff. I pick it up to dust under it, not paying attention to it really.

Then when I set it down, I notice the pamphlet that she set her keys on by her purse. It reads "Having a Baby". I think I turned white or grayish at some point. I hadn't noticed but the smell of the food had woken MTG up and she was down stairs now. I turned around, pamphlet clutched in hand. She was standing in the kitchen looking at me. I tried to speak but nothing came out. I pointed to the pamphlet and made a sort of cavemanish grunt.

MTG: Open it up.

Inside was a folded up piece of paper, with a lot of stuff on it I didn't understand. But I did understand one part. "PREGNANCY TEST", it said in bold courier letters. RESULTS:...............................
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NEGATIVE

Me: (After folding up the paper and putting the pamphlet back on the coffee table) I need to check by bread pudding. (You can tell I was dazed no?)

I checked the bread pudding, it was ready. I set it on the stove top to rest. I reheated the fruit again just to warm it.

MTG: I did one of those home tests but it didn't work so I decided to go to the doctor and check just in case. It just ended up being something else.

Me: okay (barely audible)

MTG: I just wanted to be sure before I said anything.

Me: You could have told me something, I would have liked to have known.

MTG: So you're not mad?

Me: I'm stunned, is all. My life passed before my eyes.

I cut the bread pudding and place a slice on a plate and put the fruit on the side. One plate for me and one for MTG. I sprinkle some powdered sugar on top for effect. It was better than I thought I was capable of, in fact it was amazing.

MTG: (Saying with a mouth full of bread pudding) What do you mean your life passed before your eyes?

Me: (Swallowing hard) Not like, I saw my life past and future. I just pictured your dad's hands around my throat crushing my larynx. Flashing before me in that sort of way.

MTG started laughing hard enough to almost choke. I had put in "Amos the Transparent" in the CD player, and the song "After all that, it's come to this" was playing. (By the way, Amos is awesome, I highly suggest it. Best download in emusic thus far this year.) MTG finished eating and went back to bed. I stayed down stairs and sat on the couch staring into space.


PS: MTG said to say thanks to those who sent her their condolences.

4 comments:

Doc said...

What an amazing story. I still recall the feeling of panic when Flannery first told me she was pregnant. I gasped. I sputtered. I managed to get out "That's great", gave her a hug, and then sought out a large drink. It is one of those moments you never forget.

Doc

Flannery Alden said...

Amen.

Lovely slice of life here.

Artful Dodger said...

Yeah it was such a weird feeling. It was like I had no blood pressure but my heart was beating super fast. Oh and I did have a larger drink too when sitting on the couch afterwards. Actually make that two.

Beth said...

I love your long slice-of-life stories.

Now I'm hungry — for your bread pudding AND Amos the Transparent.