I'm writing cold bacon and rice cakes. There is not one damn interesting thing to say. There should be something...anything. I wasted this day in a haze. Weary. A bruise on my shoulder from where my wife elbowed me last night. Apparently, I didn't sleep well. One of those nights where the sheets twist up and every little noise leaps. A glare on the laptop screen that's always in the space where the next word is waiting to be typed. I must type my way into that light. No such thing happened today -- yet. Not a single observation went into my notebook. Not one.
Lunch today with the wife and baby. Chick-fil-a. The place a mob of moms and snot. Women weary and gilded. Those gilded were less weary than those not. Seems like it always works that way. Sweatpants convey a pale rage. Nothing bright, mind you. A rage that's mostly a long sigh with the contrast cranked high. A sort of buzzing hostility like TV interference that seeps out in their little motions: hostile glances, a curt and ouched tone snapping out when the kid drops a nugget or wants to put ketchup in his Dr. Pepper. God, I feel pity for them. I am the same way. It's a horrible realization.
Most kids are ugly in a non-symmetrical way. That left eyebrow juts a bit more than the right. Eyes a bit too far apart. Hair a curled whisper on the scalp. Rash. Bumps. Not mine, of course. My daughter is beautiful. Except when she poops.
A warm rain fills the air today. Everything feels swollen. Cars crawl around outside Chick-fil-A. My wife takes the baby into the play area. I watch for a moment. She sits on the ground, feet squeezed into wrinkles under her buttocks, and helps my daughter practice walking. She's left her shoes on the table. I dip another nugget into bar-b-que sauce and tear it apart with my teeth. I chew and look at the shoes on the table. I don't want to eat anymore.
Home Depot after lunch. Pick out the new trim and tile for the kid's bathroom. That project is finally drawing to a close. We're at the tile aisle.
"I like this one." My wife points.
It's the most expensive, of course. I mention that.
"Is not." Her fingers point two over. "This one here's a few cents more."
We pick a sample tile to take home so she can lay it on the floor and visualize. I'm a visual person, she tells me each time we do this. We end up normally with six or seven color splotches on walls that need to be painted.
The baby has crawled all over the Home Depot floor. She loves pushing the cart. I walk along behind her while she lurches, pretending not to hold onto the handle. Her left leg black with dirt. I kiss them both goodbye, ring out the purchases. Walk through the rain back to the car. My shirt darkens in spots. Spot after spot forms. It's a warm rain when one initially walks into it but changes once you're in it. As each spot darkens on my shirt, I grow cold. I drop the trim on the ground and pick it back up. The primer comes off white in my hand. I look at my hand for a minute, the cold tightening about me. I shove the rest of the trim into the back of the Rodeo, my fingers runny with white.