Dinnertime in a Quiet Neighborhood
I sank the carving knife into the bloodied wood, separating the thigh into thick slices. Behind me, the minced carrots cooked on the stove with the potato and cabbage, which would eventually make an excellent soup. The granite countertops were littered with open plastic, knives of all sizes and serrations, and chopping boards. Dim light shone through the window curtains, which were pieced together with recycled clothing. Frankly, I found it tacky, but my wife insisted. She loved her crafts. The knob on the front door turned, and then the door opened.
“Hi honey,” she said. After setting her briefcase down, her nostrils flared with the kitchen smell.
“How was your day?” I asked.
“Good, and it’s about to get a heck of a whole lot better! What are you cooking?” she asked.
“I’ve got some potato cabbage soup on the burner, some chard salad with walnuts, and I’m currently slicing the meat.” I said.
“That sounds scrumptious. That’s Harold there, isn’t it?” she said.
“Harold?” I asked, “I thought it was Martha this week.”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake—Martha was supposed to be next week!” she said.
“No, you said it was Harold yesterday,” I said.
“No, I specifically said Martha. Harold was good for another week. Now Martha’s going to spoil,” she said.
“I’ve been preparing this meal all afternoon, and this is the thanks I get? Goddamn,” I said. Her face scrunched up in disgust.
“You know I don’t tolerate inappropriate language, Stanley,” she said.
“I’m sorry. Well what will we do with Harold’s body if we don’t eat it?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll figure that out. That’s the least of our worries, though. Whom are we supposed to eat next week?” she asked.
“We’re running out of neighborhood,” I said.
“What about that trailer park off 8th street?” she asked.
“I didn’t even think of that, that’s perfect!” I said.
I gave her a long, audible kiss.
“I knew there was a good reason I married you. You always have the best ideas,” I said.