When He Leaves

Everything breaks when Kevin leaves.  Or maybe it breaks all the time, but I only notice it when Kevin leaves.  Like I go to open my pull-out cabinet in the basement and the shelves collapse on each other.  I go to close a drawer in the pantry and it decides Not Today, It’s Not Closing.  A kid comes out of the bathroom and says the toilet’s wobbly.  Is it supposed to be wobbly?  My I-phone—and this happens the very minute he leaves—my I-phone starts telling me it hasn’t been backed up in two weeks, and it tells me this every freaking time I turn it on for the entirety of Kevin’s absence, just in case I wanted to be reminded every fifteen minutes for three days. Lightbulbs burn out.  Lightbulbs in places I can’t reach, no matter how many safety violations I break trying to get up that high.  The dishwasher starts caking the insides of our mugs with pieces of old food that stick like barnacles and it is better for everyone’s mental and physical health if I just throw the mugs away rather than grind my nails down to nothing trying to clean them out.  Our 7th grader breaks over and over again, and whenever I try to fix him I end up breaking him more.  The clicky button that makes the grill turn on stops working because yes, I am trying to grill in January, but instead I end up microwaving in January and there are no grill marks on our pathetic, bloated hot dogs.   NO GRILL MARKS!  The garbage disposal starts smelling like sour, moldy jalapeno peppers, probably because I put sour moldy jalapeno peppers in it, and the smell won’t go away no matter what I do and now we’ll probably have to move to a new house.  I decide to watch a show on TV and the volume is at full blast and no matter how many buttons on how many remotes, phones, tablets, and laser guns I push, it won’t stop until I finally push one button that makes the screen spin its head around a bunch of times, spew out a plague of locusts, and go permanently black.

Then Kevin finally comes home and asks how my week was.  I smile as big as a crocodile and say it was great.  How was yours?  I say this because I don’t want to dump all this on him the minute he comes home.  I want to tell him I love him and I missed him, not because everything is broken but because he has such a charming personality and  captivating eyes and clean fingernails.  But he knows, he knows.  He looks around and sees the empty mug cupboard, the dimly lit kitchen, the remotes that look as though they’ve been to war and back, the sign on the bathroom door saying NOPE, the gaping pantry doors, the salty, sulky seventh grader staring daggers at me, the Everything’s Fine Why Would You Even Ask That look in my eyes, and he knows.

So his face gets this look that the alpha males get on the nature shows when they know their thing is a sure deal, and he smiles and looks at me with those captivating eyes and I tell him the truth. 

“I missed you.”

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
African peanut soup (store bought WUT??!)
Chicken chili (store bought I know!  Whose blog even is this?!”
Fresh bread

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