Are We Falling or Flying? From the Collected Works

It was odd for us to both have the day off…

He spent his days waiting tables at the local margarita hut while working part-time at the bookstore a couple of nights a week; and I had taken the semester off  to fill the $18,000 a year position managing that same bookstore. Despite the eighty-hour weeks, it had seemed a grand position for a starving college student who had recently moved into her very own house with its very own rent. The very same house in which she and her boyfriend were joyfully living in sin.

We were still sleeping on a mattress on the floor back in those days. What can I say? We were young and innocent enough to cherish the art of creating a household from stackable plastic cubes and bean bags and empty kegs. The papasan in the corner was a loaner from my best friend. I wouldn’t let anyone else sit in it though for fear of damaging the only piece of real furniture in the house. He hated it. He called it impractical and ugly and not real furniture at all. Much as the white carpet in a great-aunt’s living room that no one has stepped a foot on for twenty years, I called it beautiful. And no one was to sit in it.

It was Wednesday and still fairly early. Mid-July in southern Louisiana and we couldn’t yet afford an air-conditioning system; I remember the heat on my face from the morning sun coming in through the open windows and onto our little baseboard bed. We were awake; we had been for a while. As it is always the joy of a new love to sit and not speak and to do so happily, we were smiling. I offered to cook some breakfast, an offer that we both understood to mean that I would get dressed and drive to the nearby coffee shop. After all, we didn’t have a stove.  It was somewhere on that list after air conditioner and before bed-frame, I’m sure.

I playfully nudged him in hopes that he’d offer to get up and fix breakfast instead. He nudged back much harder than what I thought was necessary. This unnecessary roughness, in turn, completely validated a subsequent well-aimed kick and my decision to only make a breakfast large enough for one. Surprisingly, he didn’t kick back, and, during that quiet moment, I wondered if my retaliation may have been a bit too well-aimed. I immediately started to point out that had he not nudged me so hard, I would have not been forced to kick him; but he interrupted me,

"Wanna go get married?"

To be continued…

January 10, 2008
Categories: Daily


1.©2008 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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