“Where is your family?” I asked him.
This point forward I was going to act in absolute meekness and with a growing self pity. I would maintain my composure by repeating in my head that I was both mourning for my dead and my wasted potential and that I was prepared to freeze to death in a town I loathe, alone, friendless. If this was it, I would play the part,
“They have gone. West.”
“Without you?”
“This was years ago.”
Divorced. Two kids, both boys.
“I am divorced.”
“Two boys.”
I didn’t grin. I sipped my mug waited.
“You ever been married?”
Dotefully, I began the display of my eyelashes.
We sat there in his candlelit dining room lined with mirrors and no pictures and drank boiled water out of mugs. It was hard to keep the conversation light or going. Moments passed before I moved again. Fearful, I was careful. It was seven pm and I was trapped here.
“I miss my family,” I said.
He took a final sip of his water and then got up suddenly.
“You’re hungry?” he pointed at me.
A bit.”
He walked into the kitchen. I scooted my elbow across the table so my neck could crane more easily without it being too apparent that I wanted to see what he was doing.  From the distance, I saw two candles on an end table and the usual assortment of things: silver fridge, counters, trashcan, some papers, some cans stacked underneath the cabinet. He turned suddenly and I became preoccupied with my mug.
“A protein bar.”
He handed me a lemon thing with oats in a yellow wrapper.
“I was going to heat up soup until this happened.”
“We can eat it cold.”
He shrugged a bit, “You’re right. This is an unusual week.”
This man was delusional, I decided quickly. This is how war starts. He brought out beefaroni. Meat.
“It’s been so cold, I doubt it’s bad.”
I stifled my urge to tell him but then he asked
“You’re not vegetarian are you?” he smiled.
You are handsome.
“Not anymore,” I smiled back.
We sat there like that, dipping our spoons in a can of cold Beefaroni and not talking and not thinking too much about the devastation of each of our lives in the whackiest week of winter.

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