Monday, April 21, 2008

Men From Mars?

My husband is a lunatic. Today just reaffirms that for me.

He calls me about five minutes before I expect him home. I press the cell phone to one ear and plug the other ear, shouting, "Hello?" over the shrill screams of Peaches and the rooster. We are outside and they are pretending something I am too old to decipher.

"How are you doing?" he asks. In one beat, I step in between the kids, intercepting a fight over a marker, and glare at them, swipe at my new pants that are covered in sidewalk chalk hand prints, and push the unwashed and uncut mass of hair out of my face. "Alive. You?" He is fine, but left work a little late, and will be later still because of all the cop cars and trucks in his way -- a gang bust near his work. "See you later," he tells me, "I love you."

He walks in the house as I am feeding the kids dinner, opening the bills, and packing tomorrow's lunch boxes. I have some of Peaches' food on my shirt now, and she is trying to feed me unwanted bites of her dinner. As soon as my husband crosses the threshold, I tell him about the frustrations of my day, and the problem with our phone bill. He has no time for feeding himself before I give him my wish list of help requests, which includes diaper changes. When he calls the phone company to deal with the problem I mentioned, I make an annoyed comment about not waiting until the kids are asleep to do that. Can't it wait? The whole time I'm still telling him the story of my day. This is when he confirms his insanity. He looks at me completely straight-faced, and at first I think I mishear him over the din. "You look beautiful," he says. Seeing confusion alongside the wrinkles, spots, and general dirt on my face, he says, "I heard you laugh. It's so good to hear you laugh."

I married a crazy man. Thank goodness.

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