PART II: CLOUD GAMES
I found him in the kitchen cooking. My husband is making meatloaf.
Probably defrosted the old ground turkey I had left in the freezer
There is no money in the bank so I know there are no groceries in the fridge
All we’ve been doing is write bounced checks left and right. I’ve been the only breadwinner ever since he got laid-off as a doorman at Borgata Hotel in Manhattan, due to an injury to his leg. My tips at Deja Diner were only enough to cover our utility bills. I am thrilled, such a relief jumping inside me knowing I am putting an end to our financial woes. I know he will breathe easy when he sees the money. The kind of money that will have us sitting pretty outside of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. A cool million might not be much but it is a new beginning of brighter and better days to come.
I stand at the entrance. The kitchen is small. Edward appears leaner not the same vibrant man I married five years ago. I see whiskers on his face with lack of sleep smeared under his eyes, reminding me how worried he was that I didn’t come home. I found myself wanting to kiss him, to thank him. His lips are always inviting, gentle. He is my friend first, my partner second, my lover, third.
I say, “Hi”
He says without looking up, “Hi”.
He adds spices to the meatloaf, puts it inside the oven, then pours rice from an Uncle Ben’s box to a pot of boiling water on top of the stove.
I say, “I didn’t know we had rice”
I try to read his expression and I fail.
He stands in front of the medium heat stirring the rice with a wooden spoon.
“Where did you get the money to buy rice?”
He ignores my question and asks, “How are you?”
I swallow, almost afraid to answer. “Ok”
“Me neither, I was worried about MY wife who took off three days ago.”
“Edward, you …”
He interrupts me vehemently, puts a hand in the air, “No! Don’t say it…don’t say I AGREED for this Negro to steal my woman’s v-a-g-i-n-a for a million bucks. I know damn well I didn’t force you into it.”
“You were there when he asked and you sat and listened to him…you said you didn’t have a problem with it.”
He snaps, “Just like when I’m drunk I say a lot of garbage…stupid shit to test you, to see if you’ll have the audacity to cheat on me. Your money-hungry ass disappeared, you couldn’t wait.”
“I did it for us; I know I should have called you.”
I try not to raise my voice.
He asks, “So, what happened? He gave you $3 million for three days of fucking. Did you at least use a condom?”
The bitterness in his tongue makes the kitchen even smaller. I look into his angry eyes and found myself searching for forgiveness.
He continues, “Be honest, was it worth it? Was it? To fuck a stranger like a whore, was it?”
I shake my head. Regret is growing down my throat making it hard to fight against the tears. I can tell by his use of profanity that he is beyond pissed. I want to hold him, for us to cry together, to ask each other for forgiveness. Then again why should I feel guilty for something he also agreed for me to do?
We both signed on the dotted line. We both wanted this one-night stand ignoring the consequences. Sadly, Edward doesn’t see it that way.
I yell, “How can I be looked at as a whore or money-hungry when I did this for us?”
I gulp lumps of anger. We look at each other in silence.
Then he says barely in a whisper, “My love for you is worth more than a million dollars.”
My heart aches under my breast as he walks out.
He exits and the warm kitchen is suddenly cold.
©10/2006 by C. Delaleu
(Part2 of 3)
Lyrics, poetry and art all meshed together