He’s all restless energy
and frustrated emotion, ricocheting off the walls of my place. As for me –
I’m too tired to eat, too tired to sleep…
Too damn tired to do this job.
He thumps down on the end of
the couch, on my ankles. He looks at me accusingly, as if I’d left them
there just to inconvenience him. I slide my feet out from under his ass and deposit
them in his lap.
Too much running today. My feet hurt.
I’m expecting a joke.
Instead, he says, “Mice
in a wheel.”
That gives me a moment’s
pause. I suggest a different analogy. “Roadkill.”
His expression darkens. “Not yet we ain’t.”
But I’m warming to this
idea. I flex my toes at him. “We
should stop hanging out on the freeway.” Let’s quit this rat-race.
“And do what? Raise hogs in Alabama?”
A vision ambushes me. He’s wearing a straw farmer’s hat, chewing on a stalk of wheat, incongruously clad in his red
long johns. I chuckle and, though he can’t possibly know what I’m
thinking, he grins.
I know I’m not serious
about quitting. So long as he still smiles at me like that, I’ll stay.