Living Together 2018

She got home from work early. The drag of her key in the old locks startled me because I wasn’t expecting her home so early. The first thing to come through the door was her tall red beanie that was folded wool clods around her ears; then from the bottom her black boots, followed finally by the center of her body which was wrapped in an itchy looking grey goat. My head jerked in surprise because she generally messages me ahead of time to let me know that she is on her way home. When she walked in, I was sitting on the floor; sitting on one of the sofa’s throw-pillows that was a healthy dark jade color. My legs were tucked beneath me. She didn’t acknowledge me because she was still upset about an argument we had the previous evening and failed to resolve this morning. After my head jerked to make sure it was actually her who walked in and not a total whacko which is unlikely but possible in Chicago I looked back at the television to resume the multiplayer game I was in the middle of when she walked through the door earlier than expected. I pretended that the match required more mental focus than usual. I did this because I was also a little sour.

The evening before, at around this same time, she woke from a sick-nap to me in the middle of a movie about Nazi-Germany. It had actors in it whom she prefers to avoid but chose to swallow her pride on the matter anyway because the movie was quite endearing. After we finished it I cooked dinner.

It smells good, where did you find the recipe? She asked me.

It was just online. Someone I follow made it. It’s not too hard to put together. Just a couple things we had lying around anyways. I said.

Oh, who? She asked.

Who, as in where did I find it?


Just online.

Like a friend? She asked.

No, a celebrity I guess.

After we ate, she started watching another movie which I didn’t care too much for. There were no Nazis in this movie, only people who cheat on one another. Before the movie could end, she turned it off because of my comments. I was invoking the kind of petite ruthlessness a trivia night player who finds it in themselves to be the brook of truth through which all must pass would enforce on other teammates who only really show up to the place for the P.M. five-dollar you-call-its. She said that I never let her enjoy things and that I spoiled her movie. We exchanged few words after that, and even fewer this morning.

When she got home from work early and found me on the floor with my legs tucked beneath on the jade sofa pillow, I kept playing the multiplayer match and chose instead to rearrange some items in my inventory to appear busily occupied.

Hey. She chirped at me as if to a memory or an altar.

I rearranged my legs to release pressure and said nothing.



I write about people in the desert, American culture. The occasional essay.

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Christopher Gardea

I write about people in the desert, American culture. The occasional essay.