I’ve guessed a stranger’s birthday to the date before in three guesses. Back in the aughts, before caller ID, I could hear the phone ring, and know it was a friend I hadn’t talked to in like a year. So, I’ve been waiting for my empath skills to kick in with my wife. I’ve been waiting five years.
She’s been tempering her Southernisms, but she did grow up in South Carolina where people aren’t always direct about what they want. “I just made some hot, fluffy biscuits.” “Mmm, hmm. Well, I love a hot, fluffy biscuit.” “Well, I’ll make you up a plate. And my goodness, this raspberry jam is just catching flies over here.”
My wife’s also a Scorpio, and they’re famously deep and mysterious. I’m a Libra and I say everything I think. So, we’re figuring stuff out.
We bought two new beach chairs with a gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond a friend gave us for our wedding, and we’ve been looking forward to using them at Rockaway Beach. My wife, though, has had to work a lot of weekends, and may have to continue indefinitely.
So, yesterday morning, I was surprised that she was getting work-ready instead of walk-the-dog-to-the-park ready. Then, she sat on the bed with a mysterious sadness. I thought we were all going to Prospect Park, and then she would leave from there to work. But when I asked her, she would not confirm or deny this plan.
I was mystified. She wanted something else. She said our dog enjoyed being at the distillery where she works. We traded fragments, “Are you going to roll her there in her stroller (our doberman has a bad leg, and the distillery is four miles away), and bring her home in a taxi?”
No. That wasn’t it. My wife’s face still shone with with beautiful mystery. Also, mischief, because that’s who she is. I’m amazed, though, that she persisted with the oblique conversation, because I usually wouldn’t have caught on for a million years.
“You want me to hang out at the distillery today, help you roll the dog out there in the stroller, and then take a taxi back with you tonight?”
YES. Which is what we did. The walk was cool and sunny. We grabbed papusas and horchata from the Colombian food trucks near the soccer fields on the way there. I tried to paint with watercolors in the bar for an hour. (See my strange rendition of the school bus corral across the street.) I got to watch my beautiful wife in capable action from afar, all day long.
Until I hid in the boss’s office with the dog when the bar got slammed. We crept out for an expert Ross Collins at closing time, around 6 pm. I’m glad I guessed right, because Sunday felt like a writer’s retreat, like my mind was picking up flavor like the whiskey in oak barrels.
Evolution has finally rolled out my upgrade, and I click “accept.”