Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Bouquet of Daisies in the Compost

Valentine's Day is Saturday, folks. If you haven't found something on Amazon Prime, you'd better get cracking. I'm stumped this year, totally stumped. What do you get for a man who needs only time and wants only sleep?

I want to tell you about my Valentine's Days. They started with a dozen red roses that first Valentine's Day twenty-eight years ago. The other guy, Asshole - did I tell you about Asshole? - brought me daisies when he realized his demand of more space had come true and I hadn't called him in almost three weeks. Then, he tried to put on the charm as he looked through the door that I opened just a crack.

See, he had called me a wimp when I broke my thumb, made me feel weak and stupid, and I still cross-country skied seven miles to get out of the woods and he had the gall to stop for a burger and a beer before taking me home so I could go by myself for an X-ray of my hand.

Mike was already at my apartment making me dinner that night when Asshole arrived and I wouldn't even let the chain off the door to let the poor fool in. This guy actually whined. I told him that he and I were done, finished. I reminded him through the small opening in the door that he had called me a wimp. I didn't hide the cast on my arm. I didn't want to accept the daisies either. I tried to tell him to leave three or four times.

"Is he in there?" he whined. "Is that guy in there right now?"

"You need to leave. You need to leave now," I said.

"But what about the flowers I brought you?" he said. He was actually sounding pretty pathetic. I was tempted to let him in. Maybe he'd be civil to Mike. The apartment was smelling good and I knew that Mike had dinner ready.

"You can keep your flowers," I said. "Give them to someone else. You wanted more space. This is space. You should give those flowers to your mom. She's the one who deserves them the most."

"He's in there right now, isn't he? You're two-timing me. What a bitch. I can't believe you're two-timing me."

"When you dropped me off when I broke my thumb - remember when I broke my thumb and you called me a wimp? - I told you not to call me again, didn't I? I meant that."

"What a sleaze," he said. Oh, he may have called me a slut, but I'm not sure and I won't put words into his mouth.

"You need to leave. You need to leave now," I said.

"But what about the flowers I brought you. I brought them for you."

"I said I don't want them."

"Here!" he said and tried to shove them through the opening in the door. I always thought that chain was too long. I put my foot behind the door in case he tried to shove his way in.

"Wait. Wait one minute," I said and I closed the door just as he pulled his hand back from the small opening. I stalked into the kitchen, grabbed my garbage can and brought it to the door. I unlatched the chain, opened the door a little bit wider and propped my foot against it again. I didn't trust this guy. He shoved the daisies though the door at me as if that would make everything right. He shook them a little.

"I'm telling you that I don't want your flowers," I said evenly.

"Just take them, you bitch," he said. Good answer, I thought, so like him. So I took them and jammed them down into the potato peels, paper towels, and melon rinds that were already in there. To this day, I remember those pretty flowers smashed into my compost. What a waste. His mother would have loved them. He wasn't very nice to his mother, though, either.

Oh, there was plenty of drama that night but that was what it took to get Asshole to go away. It was worth the quiet smile on Mike's face when I came back into the kitchen and tucked myself into his shoulder. There's a spot where I fit him, inside a coat if he's wearing one, a cheek on one shoulder or the other where I can put my nose into his neck. Mike has to bend down a little to kiss me and a little more for me to kiss his cheek or his head. I like kissing his head too. He has a good head.

I kept the petals from the red roses he gave me for a long time in a little basket my grandma had given me. Oh, I don't have them any more. They stopped smelling so sweet and you can't keep everything, you know. You can keep the memories but things, especially rose petals, turn to dust and muck up the carpet when the cat knocks them over.

I'll tell you about other Valentine's Days later but none of them are as dramatic. Right now, I have to go buy fish. Salmon, trout, or maybe something exotic. Mike wants fish tonight so I'm going to go get good fish.

Thank you for listening, jb

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