As a handful of you may have noticed, I didn't post a cat video this Friday. I love a good cat video as much as the next girl. More, probably.
When she staggered off the bus at Hartman road, Tamara left the picture on the seat.
She glanced up and down the sidewalk. She decided to head west. Or was it Northwest?
The evening was balmy.
Nothing was sexier, Tamara thought, than a warm breeze. A warm breeze that spiraled up your bare arms and legs, that gently blew back your hair, the way a man's fingers might, if the man cared enough to touch you.
She remembered a trip to Key West with Dave. Pre-kids. Where they laid on the beach during the day and spent evenings in a waterfront bar, sipping fruity drinks and Coronas. The warm breeze and steel drums were their foreplay.
She thought about him too much. His needs. His annoying idiosyncrasies. His absences. But she didn't think much about the man anymore. About what he felt or why she'd been convinced, once upon a time, that he was such a great catch.
She walked faster. Screw Dave. His wan hugs. His motherfucking mail. His ESPN and his job.
One night, after an argument over an all day golf game, he'd told her, flat out, that he didn't have enough for her. That he couldn't do his job, provide for the family, be a dad and be the husband she wanted. He needed downtime, he said. And Tamara was not downtime. She was more like work.
"Screw Dave," she muttered out loud.
She stumbled then, on a crack in the sidewalk or a stone or whatever. And she stopped and gasped. It was a sign, her stumble. Wasn't it?
When she was a girl–young, around four or five–she had a recurring dream. In her dream, she crept slowly from her warm bed and tiptoed out to the living room of the apartment she lived in with her parents and younger brother. She sensed a presence around her, but knew her family was sleeping.
She knew the presence to be a monster, one of those vague, hairy monsters like the one in Bugs Bunny with the heart-shaped head and the white sneakers. But she couldn't see him. So she roared, to summon him forth. And he appeared and chased her in circles around the living room until she woke up, weeping.
She yelled now, "Screw Dave! Screw Craig! Screw it all!"
No monsters appeared. Though someone did peak through their blinds.
Tamara whipped around and stared at the window where the blinds had rippled. "Screw you, too, 9874 Hartman Avenue!"
What was going on behind those dusty Venetians? Hissing arguments and desires the family members hid from each other and diarrhea-inducing fear and lust. Always the lust.
Possibly, though, a woman lived there alone. Watching whatever she wanted to watch on TV, eating tuna on bagels and oreos for every meal, desiring whoever she wanted to desire.
But no, the lawn was too perfect. Like Craig's, it was a thick carpet of green.
So Tamara knew there were the fights and fear and secret lust.