[From Album #1 – Dean Martin Sings (Dean Martin)]
“What’s wrong?” I asked because something was wrong and I couldn’t tell what.
“Nothing! Just give me my fucking space.” She said it with a mixture of annoyance, frustration, and guilt.
I’d just gotten home from work, she’d gotten home earlier. We would text each other throughout the day and by the time she was home she would text me to hurry home, we missed each other. We longed just to be next to each other, lying in bed, watching TV, having sex, eating dinner together. Or at least that was the idea I like to think we both had.
“Hurry home already,” one text would read, “Are you almost home?” would be the next.
I thought it was cute, it made me want to hurry home, it made me want to hug her and feel her in my arms. I told her I would tell the bus driver to step on it.
Sometimes I would get home and everything would fold out like I thought, like we wanted. Sometimes turned into rarely.
I was walking home from the bus stop, just two blocks away. I’d asked her if she wanted anything from the liquor store on the corner but she never replied, so I just walked straight home. She was sleeping when I walked into the room and I let out an exaggerated “Oh my god, Gina!”
That sort of woke her up, she tossed around the bed a little and groaned a bit but didn’t say anything or open her eyes. The A/C was on but had long given up and now it sounded like only the fan was running. I put down my things on top of the dresser and took off my boots. Fine, I figured, I could go for a nap. It’d been a tiring day.
I climbed into bed facing her, her back was facing me. After getting comfortable I wrapped my arm around her and kissed her shoulder. She made a groan and shoved my arm away from her. I didn’t make much of it, I figured she must’ve been really tired. “Ok-ok, yeesh,” I said, playfully and hoping it came across that way. She didn’t say anything. I got comfortable again, this time with distance and we napped for a good while.
I woke up half an hour later, she was still sleeping. I tried waking her up but she wasn’t having it, she just said she was tired, I didn’t doubt it. So I got up and went to the kitchen to have some diner, I made something for both of us and left it covered in the kitchen, ready for her whenever she wanted. I ate and walked back into the room.
This time I didn’t say anything but she woke up as soon as I closed the door. She didn’t say anything either and just got her phone from the floor next to the bed where it’d been charging. She sat up and began looking through it.
“You hungry, babe? I made some food.”
“Cool, it’ll be there when you want. How was your day?”
“Fine.” Usually there was more of an answer or she would ask me something. Not much this time around.
“Alright, want to do anything tonight?” It was a Saturday, neither of us worked the next day.
“Not really,” she just wanted to watch TV and stay in. I was ok with that.
She got up and put some shoes on, “I’m going to the liquor store, I’ll be back.”
“Cool, want me to go?”
“If you want, I’m leaving now.” She didn’t even glance at me, I thought something might be off, maybe I did something wrong. Before I could even think about asking she was out the door.
I rushed to put my boots on and chased after her. By the time I made it to the light to cross the street for the liquor store she was already walking out with a bag. The light turned and I waited on the corner while she crossed. I smiled at her and scream “Howdy!” she gave out a little smile and we started walking back home.
“You get anything good?”
“Just the usual,” which meant a fifth of bourbon and some coke.
We walked back home, I had my hands in my pockets and her hands were busy with her phone and the bag.
Once we got back into the room she put the TV on, she was binging some show and started binging some bourbon and chasing with coke. I took a mean swig, “that’s some pretty good stuff.”
She lightened up and began laughing a little more with each swig, bourbon does that sometimes. She still wasn’t saying much to me, but at least she seemed to be enjoying herself. After a few episodes of whatever-the-hell she was watching though, she just got on her phone and stopped paying attention to the show. We finished the bottle and it didn’t seem to be hitting as hard as usual, occupational hazard maybe. I wasn’t really feeling the show and wanted to change it or put some music on, I got up to change it but she noticed.
“What are you doing?” she said in a sort of accusatory sort of way.
“I’m gonna change it, you’re not watching anymore, right? I was gonna check if maybe there’s something else or just put music on.”
“I still want to watch this.”
“Alright, want me to go back a couple of episodes then?”
“What?” she said while scrolling through her phone screen.
“Babe, you’ve been on your phone for a while, did you catch the last two episodes? Let me just rewind it.”
“What does it matter? Just let it play, I’ll catch up later.”
“Can I turn it off and put some music on? Neither of us is watching at this point.”
“No, I don’t want to listen to your shitty music. Just let me watch this, fuck.”
“Then put on your music, you’re not watching this – I’m not watching this, having it on is pointless. If you want to be on your phone, fine. Don’t talk to me and stick to texting whoever it is your texting.”
“Get the fuck over yourself, I don’t want to listen to music, I want to watch my show. Does it matter if I check my phone? I’m not bothering you. Just give me my space.”
“What’s wrong?” maybe that sounds familiar.
“Nothing! Just give me my fucking space.”
“Babe, you’ve been acting weird since I got home, what’s going on?”
“Just leave me alone, Dan!”
So I did, I got mad but I stopped talking. I kept the show going, sat in bed, got on my phone, and looked up movie news. She was on her phone too, doing whatever the fuck she’d been doing for the last hour or so.
I don’t know how long I waited before I calmed down and just felt tired, I laid down. There wasn’t much left to say for either of us, I guess we were both betting on sleeping it off or waiting it out or something that we weren’t so sure would work. I eventually went to sleep, facing the wall with my back to her.
She woke me up sometime later, the TV was off and so was the light, she slapped my ass.
“What?” I probably sounded mad, I’m sure.
“Are you still mad?” she said in a sort of playful way, it seemed maybe she was over whatever it was that was eating her up.
“No, I’m alright.” It was true, I wasn’t really mad anymore, I was just tired and defeated.
“Are we going to sleep now?”
“Working on it.”
“Ok, goodnight, baby.”
I reached over and grabbed her leg and pulled it over me, “Goodnight, silly-butt.”
There’s always next time.