Tuesday, February 2, 2010

He Sat Down to Watch TV (half 2009 half now)

Grumbling under his breath, with the occasional loud word directed at the window, he stomped over to the couch where he let out a long frustrated breath. The couch was old and yellow — the original color was far beyond memory — but it looked cushy and inviting. The couch squeaked as he dropped on it sideways, kicking his shoes off one over the side, the other back towards the doorway. It was tempting to lie there doing nothing, face buried in the cushion. “Eh,” he grunted, knowing someone would bother him, and fumbled around for the TV remote hidden within the crumbs and M&Ms of the cushion’s underside. Once the remote was in his grasp he hit the power and skipped to a random channel, then slid the remote back in the cushion. Now he knew where to find the thing. He watched half a special on mongooses, laughing through a few amusing commercials, before his mind wandered. It was the exact thing he was trying to avoid; every time he thought, he thought about her. Over the years he’d had a few girlfriends, none very serious, but they’d had a good time, done new things. This one he’d really liked. Not fanatically or obsessively, but more than the simple fondness he had for the other girls. Jenni. The first time they met he thought her name was Jaimie, and it took him saying it about 10 times before she bothered to correct him. That was 10 times whacking his head against the wall. Usually he was the one who broke things off, all the girls seemed fairly attached to him, and though he’d never left any pining he thought that once he found one he wanted to hold onto he could. Well, Jenni will be Jenni. If anything was more fun than it was work she found a way to make it complicated. ‘Otherwise I’m not accomplishing all I can,’ she explained. What she hoped to extend in her accomplishments by going to South Carolina was beyond him, it only looked like she was punishing herself. Maybe she was. She hadn’t given him explanation, and what did he really know about her? He’d asked her to call, she had his number, but she hadn’t given him any way to contact her in SC. A loud noise from the TV interrupted his sulk, a commercial for a resort get-away in Costa Rica. Suddenly he jumped up from the couch, staring at the images of lush greenery and big lazy lizards. Why not? He hadn’t been saving for anything specific. A break sounded exactly like what he needed. If Jenni was escaping south, he’d do the same, just farther, further removed from her. It was a plan.

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