Thursday, May 8, 2008

Times Apart That Were Just In Time - Visits to Jane

Marcie's departure for San Francisco was no sudden whim. She had actually long planned it with Jane. But, as was her wont, Marcie did not distinguish random circumstance from those more intentional. However, she had only told me she was going after our long breakfast war, which began before her plans were firmed up.

We did make up somewhat before she left, and by Wednesday afternoon we were healed and things were normal. But the bad weekend morning were taking their toll, an I was glad, I admitted, to have a weekend without the tension.

She slid into my lap and in a smooth motion curled into me, one arm behind my neck and her free hand on my chest. She laid her head against me and kissed my chin, watching my eyes with her mischievous smile. "Will you miss me?" she asked, watching me carefully, her very acute dishonesty sense completely engaged.

"Yes, I said. "But I won't miss fighting over whether bacon should take an hour to cook."

She nodded, tight-lipped, a little miffed, for sure. "I hope you realize when I am gone just how much I do for you, Frank," she said. "Most women would not do half of what i do, or put up with all your shit all the time."
I just listened and nodded, and I was a little miffed now. "I know, honey," I said. "I appreciate what you do, but sometimes you start doing things that just drive me nuts. Let's not talk about it, since you're leaving tomorrow, okay?"

She did not say anything, but curled into my lap again and rested. She soon fell asleep, and I stayed there until a documentary on whale's songs lulled me into sleep with her. We slept on the couch the whole night, a rare treat. But in the morning, the smell of war filled the air. Bacon fried in the kitchen, its intoxicating fumes filling the apartment.

I went in and checked my email, then did some working out, trying to block out the smell and my natural desire to get it on my plate and into my mouth immediately. I Built up a sweat and took my sauna clothes, stopping to ask "When should I come back?" I did so very gently.

"Why do you have to leave?" Marcie asked, biting her lower lip. A test!

"I don't have to," I said. "But I just worked out and I want to take a steam before we eat."

"I don't know," she said. "I'm making coffee cake and I haven't started that, yet."

She had the morning off for her trip, and had decided to test me, knowing I had the whole day off as well. I smiled and kissed her cheek as I left. She did not look me in the ey, but as I left she said, "The coffee cake will be about 45 minutes."

The bacon would cook for a record-shattering 2 hours. I croaked a meek, "Okay," and left.

I came back 40 minutes later and she was putting the coffee cake into the oven. I could swear she had waited on me to put it in. I bit my lip and went to take a shower. I took my time, letting the water soothe away the tension.

It was thirty minutes after I emerged that breakfast was served. I ate it quietly and looked up at her, smiled and leaned across the table, whispering "Thank you" as I kissed her.

"That's all I want, Frank," she said. "Just be sweet and thank me, and don't complain and pressure me because you're hungry. I took my time this morning because I wanted to see if you had the patience to wait. You know you can be patient, so just lay off and we'll be okay."

I was pissed. She admitted to testing me. I put my fork down, and though I was hungry, I walked out and set my plate in the kitchen. "I'm done, honey. Save the rest and I will eat it later, alright? Or I can put it away when I clean the dishes."

She sniped at me the whole way to the airport in her mothers car. "Remember what I said," she cajoled me. "Think of everything I do for you and everything I put up with for you. You're very lucky."

As true as all of that was, I could only think  was lucky at the moment to have her flying away to San Francisco for a weekend.  As we waited and she talked to her mother about what she had planned for her visit, I spoke up. "Well, as long as bacon is not on the menu, there should be plenty of time for all that."

The cold stare and pursed lips told the whole story. Barbara looked confused, a look she seemed to have mastered long ago. Marcie got up, grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the bar at the center of the terminal. I followed. "You had to? Really? You were so close and you just had to shoot your mouth off?" She searched my eyes, her own going back and forth. She slapped my shoulder and then her hand went to her mouth. She was near tears.

I tried to hug her but she wouldn't. Barbara excused herself to get some food. I tried again, and she looked away. Se left me without a kiss when her flight was called to the gate. I did not hear form her when she landed or for three whole days.

I did, however, consider her and all the things she did for me. Barbara called Sunday and said that Marcie was on her way but she wasn't going to pick me up to go get her. My mind went wild with speculation, and I was distraught.