Spaghetti Scented with Orange
And then like Dr. Jekyll and Pasta Hyde, the evening took a strange turn ...
After dinner my adoring Michael, who last night affirmed that I was a goddess forevermore, offered to take me in his truck to a warehouse store to stock up for the Anhinga Writers’ Studio Summer Workshops next week. What a good guy.
Still flushed with love and linguine and concerned by the sheer bulk of my purchases, he then generously offered to let me borrow his truck next week so that I could take all our conference stuff to the Hilton without having to make multiple trips in my bitty Honda.
I was touched, but hesitant. He drives a Ford F-150. It’s like an aircraft carrier with car keys and a Gator decal. Worse, it’s his baby. I told him that I would need to practice a little in order to feel confident in docking the Saratoga at the Hilton.
So three miles from home, he pulled over and with a flourish, turned it over to me. Fearlessly, I slid behind the wheel and threw it into gear. I glanced at Michael.
His face said, “You go, girl.”
But his body language said, “OH DEAR GOD WE’RE GOING TO DIE HELP ME GIMME BACK MY KEYS YOU CRAZY PERSON BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE!!!”
I pulled out into traffic anyway. From outside the truck, the drive home was perfection itself. But inside the truck, it was another matter altogether. Michael Browning was slowly decompensating. The man can hold a beating human heart in his hand and not even break a sweat, but put Bev behind the wheel of his truck and he loses his mind in six of the longest minutes of his life.
I won’t describe it. But I will tell you that I parked halfway up the driveway, got out, and walked the rest of the way to the house. A goddess can only take so much.
He has been sitting out there in his darkened truck since we arrived home. I watch him from the window. His forehead is pressed against the steering wheel. They’re both safe and happy again.
Tomorrow night I’m ordering Chinese.