Brian comes in from work and asks me ” What did you
do all day?” He asks this in a tone that could be taken as either interest in my day or to imply I should be in an apron and pearls with dinner waiting – not a t-shirt and his boxers covered with thread and glue. Sitting on the floor amid a pile of fabric scraps and paper.
” I made a quilt.” I reply somewhat defiantly, glancing up from something very difficult, possibly math-related and my tone is just daring him to question me- go ahead. Let’s see what you got, Luker while remaining civil. Knowing where this conversation is about to go.
Brian looks at me skeptically”All day? For 8 hours?” He says this and is really meaning, surely you jest. There is no excuse – he likes that phrase, no excuse, – for this house to look like this.
Now I am wondering if it is worth the loss of a great pair of scissors to use them as a murder weapon.
“Yes. All day. “
Since I love the scissors I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he is simply amazed I had that sort of focus and stamina
“It took you THAT Long to make a quilt?” he asks me. Now his tone and facial expressions clearly indictate his doubt and disdain – he thinks that I spent 7 hours lying around and eating bon- bons and an hour making a quilt. I wonder at this point if he is seeing his life flash before his eyes.
“Seriously? 8 hours for a blanket?”
I bristle from the use of the word blanket. A blanket he says, as if this piece of folk art I created is mearly something you could grab at Walmart.
I rise from my position on the floor where I was surrounded by fabric and razor blades clutching my large pair of fabric shears in a possibly aggressive manner. I walk towards the kitchen where he is standing on the pretext of wanting a glass of water.
” No. Of course not.” I reply ” I misspoke. I FINISHED the quilt today. It actually took me about 18 hours to make in full. Why do you ask?” I ask this sweetly while eyeing his jugular.
Brian, at this point, is obviously ignoring or unaware of the threats implied by my body language and the sarcastic tone.
” Because you are home ALL day and this house is a ….” Brian stops his sentence. He looks up and sees the scissors clutched in my hand pointed towards him even as I fill a glass with water. He notes the death look in my eyes. The clenched teeth and the general attitude of “go ahead, say it.” He changes his tactic.
…” the house looks AMAZING. I Love what you have done with the- uh- carpet? Is there still a carpet…? I can’t really see it through the – oh well, it doesn’t matter the floor looks GREAT. As does every other flat surface. Which I see you have taken the time and trouble to cover with, um, everything you own. Apparently. Also your hair! Your hair looks really good like that. Sort of like… Sort of like Kurt Cobain.” I raise an eyebrow. One eyebrow.
“No, No, that is a good thing, he was famous! He started grunge! He had a whole STYLE. I like that hasn’t been washed or brushed in two days look. It sort of goes with that – is that a new perfume you are wearing? NO, well your natural odor- I mean scent totally accents the hair. The look. You are cultivating. Carry on with that, the cultivating that is.
And those boxers are totally flattering? Are those mine? Look at how you managed to totally stretch out the elastic so they fit your hips which are so, so much wider than, say, my waist.”
While this is undoubtedly true, he realizes my next comment will be me asking if he is calling me fat he answers before I can even ask.
“…No, really, that’s great. Go with that. I can, um, pin them or something. Or never wear them again. Either way…totally up to you. Who needs underwear anyhow, totally overrated…so anyhow….You. Look. Really. Unique. Creative. What, with the no bra look combined with the glue covering your stained shirt.”
He is now slowly backing away knowing he is digging himself in deeper and deeper the more he speaks. He glances to the side with only his eyes, never moving his head, looking for an escape route.
” ….don’t know how you manage this. All. This. “
He continues while looking around at the yarn strung from various pieces of furniture and children and seeing a cat emerge from under layers of unidentified fibers. Wondering, no doubt, if that is even our cat as he doesn’t recally us having a blue cat…no matter. Noting that the dog is especially still…possibly glued to a chair, he won’t ask at this point. He knows this conversation started to go entirely wrong when he said what did you DO all day?
“I don’t know of anyone else who could do this. In just one day. All….this….”
He mutters under his breath” Jesus help me.” With a very forced chipper voice he asks
“Hey! Who wants ice cream?!” That last sentence was the only sentence he has said since he walked home that earned him a genuine smile. Also, perhaps it saved his life.