Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Engaged Day!

He thinks he knows what's best for you. Lately he's become convinced that what's best for you is him.

"Oh my God that's so great!"

They check the ring. They hug you to their shoulders, your friends. You haven't even glanced at him. You don't have to. He's slumped into the easy chair, a whiskey in his left hand, and just the most smug and condescending smirk on his lips.

"Congratulations. Hey everybody, we lost another one!"

You tell them about the walk on the jetty. How he knelt down onto a low bed of rocks and the crashing waves made it so you couldn't even hear him propose. How you scraped your knee on the way back. You tell them quietly. If he hears this story, he will offer one of his miserable, joyless, one-beat chuckles and it might make you put a plastic fork through his eye.

"Have you set a date?"

You're hoping for June a year and a half from now and you don't expect it to be in the city. 'But you'll all be invited,' you say it loud enough to get him to his feet. He goes to his girlfriend and puts his right hand in her left. Only then can you stand to give him your eyes. Only when he has his dimwit by his side.

He's looking at you. He's got her hand in his hand and he's looking at you. I think if you avoided him for the entire night he'd keep this expression trained on your face, waiting for you to catch it. It's so awful you go to him. He lets go of her hand and the two of you meet in the kitchen.


So congratulations.

Shut up.

No I--

Can't you pretend that I'm dead or something?

We just started trying to pretend you're engaged. One thing at a time.


How could you?

Easy. He's not you. He's wonderful.

I'm going to have to think about how to deal with this. I might not be civil.

A million responses flood your head, but none of them are words. You choose the 34,327th. You punch him in the belly. When he doubles over, you take his whiskey glass from the counter and smash it over his head. The shards rip your hands open, but it doesn't hurt yet. So you reach low and slap your palms with their jagged slivers into his face. You grip his cheeks in your palms and you drag them over his skin. You can feel the tug when the slivers catch on his face and tear open the skin. People begin to pull on you from behind, so you push him to the corner of the kitchen, into the cat dish, and you kick him in the face, aiming for the throat, with your high heeled shoes. You get in four good kicks before you're dragged away.

Happy Engaged Day!