He Who Breaks Me Down
He said he’d come by at 7:00 p.m. EST so I left work at 4:00 p.m. though I was supposed to stay until at least 5:00 p.m. I lied to my boss who is also a friend and told her that the Thai we had for lunch was fighting my body and my body was getting its ass whipped. She didn’t ask any questions; she seldom does and when she does they’re pointed approaches to tell me what I already know but don’t want to hear. She thinks I don’t understand her tactics but there are reasons I don’t talk to her about my love life.
When I got home I through myself into a bit of a frenzy. I had already cleaned the house each day for three days prior to this day but needed to be sure that everything was spotless. I found a hair on the back of the toilet and grew a bit upset because I dusted that space several times and it could never avoid allowing something floating in the air to land there.
I scrubbed, I scrubbed and swept, swept and wiped, wiped and brushed, brushed and gasped as I collapsed onto the bathroom floor when I realized that I still hadn’t figured out what we were doing for dinner.
In my head I recited all of our conversations word for word trying to remember his favorite foods and then I a ran to my home office and powered up my laptop. I banged on the keys entering my password as if I needed to stop a series of nuclear weapons stationed around the globe from activating.
I logged into facebook and easily found his profile. It was bookmarked, along with his twitter, linkedin, wordpress, tumblr, flickr, and instagram. I scrolled through his pictures finding the pictures of him and friends in restaurants in which his smile was widest. I scrolled through pictures and zoomed in when possible to catch the names of the restaurants printed on napkins, glasses, and signs in the background. I googled the names of three restaurants and then checked Yelp for each locations’ top dishes. I analyzed trends and determined that we’d go for Italian. It was 6:00 p.m. EST.
We agreed to take out and a movie so I logged into Seamless.com and scrolled through local options. I analyzed prices, ratings, average delivery times and made my selections and ordered appetizers, entrees, and desserts. I placed my order without looking at the price and by the grace of God, despite my many devastating competing financial priorities, my card was not rejected. It was 6:20 p.m. EST.
I ran to my closet and grabbed the outfit I picked out and meditated on for the past three days. It was still appropriate. I removed the tags, ran to the shower, scrubbed under lukewarm water, washed my hair, grabbed my towel and got my skin to be dry enough to apply lotion and deodorant, and smell goods. I turned on the air conditioner in my room although it was already cool. I needed it to be freezing so that I wouldn’t begin sweating heavily as usual. It was 6:55 p.m. EST.
I dressed in time to hear the doorbell ringing. I ran around the house on the way to front door spraying air freshener. I took a deep breath before approaching the door and caught my reflection in the picture next to the door. Everything was in order. I answered the door and flirtatiously leaned forward and quickly retracted at the sight of the 50+, frumpy and scruffy delivery man. I grabbed the food in frustration and signed the receipt before slamming the door in his face and then ran to the dining room table to lay everything out in perfect fashion. I tossed out the wrapping, the boxes, the bags. I began to sweat. I ran back to the bedroom and sat on the bed and after a minute began to feel the cool air dry my forehead. It was 7:02 p.m. EST.
I sat and let the cool air caress the back of my neck. It sent chills up my spine. It was 7:17 p.m. EST.
I wandered out into the dining room and found my phone sitting on the edge of the table and checked it. There were no missing calls or new messages. It was 7:31 p.m. EST.
I took a deep breath and exhaled to release my passive aggressiveness and then sent him a text. “Hey handsome. Hope all is well. Looking forward to seeing you soon! Wondering if you’re close. If so, I’ll heat the food up.” It was 7:38 p.m. EST.
I paced back and forth and then sat down on the couch and chewed on a small piece of garlic bread. It was 7:56 p.m. EST.
I checked my phone again. Still no call. No text. No email. It was 8:06 p.m. EST.
I called him and the phone went straight to voicemail. My stomach hurt and I began to sweat. I threw the phone on the coffee table and leaned back in frustration. It was 8:17 p.m. EST.
The phone rang and I jumped up and answered immediately when I saw his name, his picture. The lights were still on. The food was left on the table. I answered without hesitation. It was 1:17 a.m. EST.
“Hey, sorry it’s late. I was out with friends and lost track of time.” He snickered, but it sounded cute.
Don’t panic. Don’t get angry. Don’t be negative. You’ll scare him off.
“Oh no problem. I was actually just relaxing. Had such an exciting day…” I hoped he would ask me about my day. He didn’t…
“Nice. Well listen, I’d invite you to come out with us but it’s late. So you should probably stay home. Why don’t we get together tomorrow night?”
He was still interested.
“Yea that sounds great! What time do you have in mind? Do you want to come over or should I meet you out somewhere? I can make us dinner or we can order out? Do you want to…” He cut me off.
“Listen I gotta run, but let’s play it by ear.”
My stomach hurt.
“Yea no worries. Looking forward to it!”
“Cool. Take care.” He hung up before I got to say goodbye.
It’s ok right? I just have to be patient, flexible. I mean most things in life aren’t within your control. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Right?
I still can’t sleep… It’s 3:14 a.m. EST. At least the ice cream is keeping me from sweating.