Jessica came home early from work. She called out to her husband, Walter. They had been married for sixteen years. “Hey honey, I’m home.” She tossed her keys on the dining room table. The clink and jangle echoed loneliness. “Walter? Walter?”
“Here, in the kitchen. Uh, I’m fixing the shelves.” Walter grabbed a spork® and tapped the wall to indicate that he was working.
She had heard that tone in his voice before. He never says uh. He had to be lying. She made a beeline straight into the kitchen.
Upon hearing her approaching footsteps, Walter thought out loud, “Uh oh.” He looked at himself and then, all the garbage surrounding him.
Her mouth dropped open, flabbergasted at what she saw. Crumpled up bags, and fast food skin all over the place. Taco Bell®, McDonald’s®, Arby’s®, KFC®, Popeye’s®, Burger King®, Sonic®, Pizza Hut® and maybe Chipotle Mexican Grill® scattered on the black and white tiled floor. Walter sat on the floor in the pantry. “So, is that what we’re calling this now?” She pointed at all the stuff that didn’t naturally belong on this earth.
Walter sat up straight, and bumped his head on the bottom shelf. He gulped down the roast beef sandwich slathered with horsey sauce®, followed by a huge bite of a Whopper®. There was an obvious sheen of grease on and around his lips, taco shell crumbs in his beard indicating 12 to 13 tacos, and a satisfying glaze on his eyes, hidden behind a pair of smudged thick Coke® bottled eyeglasses. He looked more like a raccoon caught in a motion detector light than a human.
She shook her head in disgust and looked away. She noticed the discolored curtains from the sunlight. “See if I care. Go ahead, kill yourself with all that shit. Knock yourself out.”
Walter accepted the sarcasm as permission, and continued to shovel the food into his mouth. Swallowing unhealthily, he mumbled what sounded like “Thank you.” Pieces of food, chewed, half-chewed, and unchewed dispersed from his face like a sideways ticker tape parade. This is one of the three reasons why you don’t speak with your mouth full of food. When he had outrageous cravings like this, which was once or twice a year, he was oblivious to social nuance. Inflections of sarcasm and anger were as good as non-existent. This being said, he swallowed, then took a long sip from a Big Gulp® filled with Diet Coke®. He burped a resounding belch. It smelled as one would predict, horrible.
The next few days were best described as incredulous.