Note to self, call Home Depot in the morning and order a gas oven. Never mind that I don’t have a gas hookup, but I know that it has to be nearly impossible to kill oneself by sticking your head in an electric oven and far too painful. I’ve burned my forehead enough times with a curling iron to know that this would not be the way to go. So much easier to turn on the gas, plump up a pillow on the open oven door and take a little nap. Maybe read a good book.
I’m still sitting on the kitchen floor giving the oven a dirty look when the phone rings. I’m instantly thankful that this is 2007 and not 2027 and I don’t have an automatic web phone so that the caller can see me sitting in a puddle of orange juice eating stale marshmallows out of a bag. While I’m waiting for the answering machine to pick up I run my tongue over my teeth feeling the sticky goo that has adhered itself to my molars. I will need to buy a firmer toothbrush if I decide to live through the rest of the day.
“Pick up, Mel. It’s not that bad. Just pick up the phone.” My best friend Sara whispers over the phone. “Pick up or I’m coming over.” Sara lets out a long sigh and I can almost see her at work, bent over with her head under her desk. “Fine, I’m probably going to get fired but I’m coming over.” Beep.
“Beep”, I say back to the machine. Somehow, this is the only conversation I feel that I’m able to have at the moment. I’m never going to be able to move the refrigerator to clean the juice out from under it. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Today is January 23. I am:
1) Not going to Hawaii on my honeymoon
2) Not going to be Mrs. Melanie Becker as planned.
3) Not going to be drinking a fruity drink with an umbrella in it.
4) Not going to be worn out from passionate sex.
1) In a snowstorm in Kokomo, Indiana
2) Still Melanie Addison, 31 year old single spinster
3) Sitting in a fruity little drink
4) Never going to have sex again.
“Beep.” Saying this word makes me laugh and I realize now that I may be crazy.
Sara lets herself in and doesn’t even have the audacity to look repulsed by what she sees. What she sees is me sitting in the kitchen clutching the marshmallow bag wearing OJ soaked underwear and a t-shirt that says, “Who let the DAWGS out??” My normally curly brown hair now hangs in straight greasy spikes and sticks to my forehead. I have raccoon eyes from the mascara I put on two days ago. “You can’t have any; I don’t have enough to share”.
“Why didn’t you pick up the phone?” She sounds like someone’s mother. Oh yeah, she is someone’s mother. She has a daughter, three year old Rebecca, with soft blond ringlets and a finger permanently positioned in her left nostril. I suddenly have the urge to put my own finger in my nose. I mean really, why shouldn’t I? It’s not like I have a husband who’s going to walk in and say,” Darling, now that’s really not attractive.”
“How did you manage to spill the entire carton?” Sara picks up a roll of paper towels and begins mopping up the mess on the floor, she pushes me with her hip to try to move me but I’ve become a part of the linoleum. I’m not moving. I like it here. I like the view from here. I can see into the open cabinet beneath the sink and I see that I have three cans of Pledge. See? If I wasn’t down here I would have probably put Pledge on my shopping list and wasted $3.79 at the Stop and Shop. Nope, don’t need Pledge. Good thing I’m down here.
“You gonna help me or what?” She doesn’t look happy.
“What?” Now she looks really irritated.
“I’ve decided what. Not helping.” I can’t help but feel a little powerful right now. Everything in my life is so out of control but one decision I can make is whether to start helping clean up the mess or to just sit in it. I’m still sitting. A smile crosses my face.
Sara stands up and leans against the counter with her arms crossed in front of her enormous chest. Maybe it’s not enormous; it just looks that way compared to the rest of her body which is tiny. Ballerina tiny. Big boobs, tiny wrists. Don’t see that too often. Her light brown hair fans across her shoulders and I am in awe that I could have such a beautiful friend. I picture myself in the third grade, standing in a line on the playground playing a game. Sara is across from me and it’s her turn to call a name. “Pick me! Pick me!” I was praying. “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Melanie right over!” She picked me. From that day on, she always picked me. She became my best friend.
She smiles down at me. “You know, it’s going to be okay. He was an idiot. You’re lucky it happened when it did and not after you had a couple of kids.” She waits for me to say something. “Come on, you need a shower. I’ll finish up in here then we’ll drink ourselves silly. You’ll feel better.”
I let her pull me up and stand with my legs apart while we watch the juice fall from between my legs. “Look, I’m peeing citrus!”
Instead of getting in the shower, I slip out of my clothes and sit on the bed and stare out the window at the snow slapping up against the pane. I try to figure out how things got this bad. I knew that Mike had his faults. Like the time we were in that steak house on the outskirts of town and he turned around and yelled at that little kid for kicking the booth. Like that time when we were first sleeping together and I woke up early to make coffee and he got upset because I was drinking out of his favorite “Indy 500” mug. Even after I passed it to him he wouldn’t drink out of it until he washed it out with soap first. Strange behavior from a guy who had spent half the night with his head between my legs.
So anyway, I should have seen this coming. I should have known he would dump me a week before our wedding when he stopped coming over after work every day and started going out with friends instead. “It’s not my fault my friends want to throw me a bachelor party”, he would say. Of course, most men don’t have seven or eight bachelor parties but I did try to be understanding and besides, I had a lot to do before the wedding.
“Are you getting in the shower?” Sara peeks her head through the doorway. “Ew, naked!” and she immediately slams the door. Sara has a thing about nudity. No one should ever, for any reason, be nude. I wonder how she got Rebecca. Did she pull her panties to one side like you do when you have to pee in a bathing suit?