Do you remember that time back when we were poor and we went to the Salvation Army and spent the majority of the afternoon reading excerpts from dated Harlequin Romance paperbacks with titles like “The Innocent and the Willing” to each other on an old dingy sofa with a faded 70’s floral pattern on it? And remember they eventually kicked us out because spooning in a Christian retail store was apparently inappropriate and “against store policy”? I’d like to see their goddamn policy book. I bet if I’d asked for it they would have just handed me a King James Bible. And I would’ve told them that Jesus probably loved to spoon.
Well later that night my ankles were itching like crazy and after close inspection I realized that they had small red bumps all over them. Remember I proclaimed that the Salvation Army had given me fleas? You made some joke about the Black Plague and then asked me if it was at all possible that I’d forgotten to give the dog and cat their flea medicine. Then you said something along the lines of “Babe, if remembering to give your pets their medicine is anything like taking your birth control, then I hate to say it, but that might just be the culprit.”
And I snapped at you real bitchy like and refused to admit that it was highly plausible that I’d forgotten to give the animals their flea stuff and proceeded to go on a long rant about how “Salvation Army” should be an oxymoron but totally isn’t and how America is turning fascist and all that.
You agreed with everything I said through earnest and constant nodding. I remember you tried so adorably hard not to crack a smile and that made me even more infuriated. Then all of the sudden you were out the door and in your car and driving off. I didn’t know what to think.
Within fifteen minutes you were back though, and I felt guilty and relieved all at once.
You came back in the house with a plastic Walgreen’s bag. Remember that? In it was a tub of Cherry Garcia, my favorite, and some calamine lotion.
You lathered my ankles with that lotion ‘til they were as pink as the princess birthday cake my mom bought for me when I was five. Then you worked your way up my legs with kisses. I was so glad I’d worn a dress that day.
Well there’s one thing I never told you regarding all of that. The next morning after you’d left for work I found the box of flea medicine that I assume you bought alongside the ice cream and calamine lotion. I guess you’d put in on the animals when I was asleep.
Sometimes I think you let me win too many battles. Yet it was in that moment, when I pulled the trashcan out from under the sink to take out a banana peel that I’d accidentally thrown in there (remember that was during one of my short-lived composting campaigns?) and I saw the corner of the box with little flea illustrations on it which you’d strategically tried to hide…that was when I knew I was crazy about you and crazy for being so horrible sometimes.
I miss you.