IP- Things You've Changed Your Mind About 2
- and the way she kept fussing with her hair - can't have a single fucking strang out of place - all testified to her need to stay clean and neat which I understand.
Bed: made tight with hospital corners, tight, so a coin would bounce off it.
Carpet: vaccuumed three times a week.
Kitchen and bathroom floor: swept daily, mopped weekly.
Counters and sinks and appliances wiped with "all-purpose" cleaner (whatever the fuck that means) daily because, hell, keep it clean and it's easier to clean; ain't never been the kind of guy who has to rush to make the place presentable in anticipation of company because (1) always keep the place presentable and (2) don't have company.
Wondered if her home smelled like roses.
All right, so I'm an idiot. I offered to follow her to an auto shop when I should've just assured her that it'd be all right as long as she didn't kill the engine and went about my day; had babies to feed, fresh water to provide, had shit to do. But there she was, wiping her still crying eyes, shivering in the mild coolness of the afternoon, afraid. Goddamnit. Other workers passed, most without a glance, others glancing, nodding a "how do?" but none of them investigating why she was crying. And most of these passers-by were men. Nice fucking chivarly - then again, maybe they were afraid. Afraid of me. Ain't I the guy who'd been escorted by security off the premises because I'd bashed this other guy's head into a metal shipping container when he'd pulverized a lizard under his steel-toed boots, just for shits and giggles? I wanted him to know how it felt to be suddenly, unexpectedly in utter fucking pain. My VA counselor had gotten me out of that shit. Said that I was provoked. That my PTSD had been aroused or some such shit. And did the company really want to fire a war veteran? Discipline, sure, but terminate . . . bring the fight, bitches. So I'd gotten out of that one. I hadn't gotten out of this one: a crying female afraid to drive herself home.
"Take it . . . for me."
We'd left Talleyrand Marine Terminal located 21 nautical miles from the sea buoy with nearly 5,000 linear feet of berthing space, located less than a twenty minutes' drive (give or take, depending on traffic) from a Florida East Coast Railroad intermodal ramp and within minutes (give or take) of I-95 and I-10 (here's an interesting nugget: odd numbered interstates run North and South, even-numbered interstates run East and West) with me following her. Figured I'd let her chose the most convenient auto shop. Later learned, minutes before her hand was near my crotch, that she lived on the Southside of town, like me, so after she got a new battery, as we'd walked back to our cars, she'd offered to buy me a drink for my troubles.
I drink at home. Alone. More comfortable. And cheaper.
"Well, let me buy you a six pack."
I'd let her, if only to shut her up from her insistent asking, and she'd asked, while we'd both been on the fucking brink of getting in our respective cars and driving away and getting on with our respective days, "I hope I didn't keep you from anything" and me, being the idiot that I am, answered that she hadn't, the babies would be fine.
Really? I love animals.
More idiotic behavior commenced. She'd followed me to my home and we eventually ended up on the couch covered with the mostly nonessential blanket, her hand on my thigh, near my crotch, our beers on the coffee table. But
she'd been standing beside me when I put the six pack in the fridge. The all but empty fridge. Only some mixed Spring greens (for the rabbit), a pitcher of water (gotta keep cold water on hand) and a liter of generic coke. Otherwise, empty. Because (1) easier to clean that way and (2) never know what I'll be hungry for from one day to the next. I shop as needed. But she interpreted the all but emptiness as lack of funds to fill it.
"Please, take it," a twenty dollar bill.
I convinced her to keep the money, without explanation regarding the near emptiness of the fridge, and she eventually removed her hand and now I buy groceries for the week, planning my menu.