It's not about the house.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Oh my god, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you this! Or, actually, it happened when I wasn’t writing (here) so it’s not that I forgot to tell you, I just didn’t. But whatever. Anyway…

On Inauguration Day, Andy came over (remember Andy?). He didn’t come because of the Inauguration – in fact, it’s entirely possible he didn’t even know it was that day, and not because of the usual reason, either. You see, Andy’s quit drinking.

Are you okay? Are you with me? Yeah, it’s true.

So on Inauguration Day Andy just happened to be here spending the night, and he brought ingredients with him to cook dinner for us all. He does this when he comes over. And while it’s nice – while he means it as a thank-you for the hospitality and everything – it always makes me feel a little awkward. After all, if he cooks and cleans up after himself, then the only hospitality I’m offering is the bed (on which he very rarely actually gets under the covers, anyway), so what exactly is he thanking us for? It feels weird, sitting in your own kitchen, watching somebody cook, especially when they’re doing it all wrong.

(Not wrong, really. Not in a bad way. Just, well: I cut my carrots on an angle, he cuts his flat. I cook my rice in the steamer, he boils his. He doesn’t know we got a special thing for juicing lemons from my mom for Christmas, so he uses a fork. Ungrateful horrid wretch that I am, it’s all I can do not to jump up and holler “Give me that! I’ll do it!”)

(I’m sorry, Andy, if you’ re out there. I love you and want you to come over all the time. But carrots taste different if you cut them flat. They just do. And also? Plaid is itchy. I’m just saying.)

This night, though, it was bizarre. It was Inauguration Day (as I’ve said twice already), so Johnny and I were both well into our cups before he got here. At three in the afternoon. We felt strange being drunk in front of Sober Andy, but he kept telling us it was okay, we’d been sober in front of Drunk Him a bunch of times, he didn’t mind. So we kept drinking.

Needless to say, we missed watching the balls. By the time the sun went down, Johnny had wandered off to the pub alone to nyeah-nyeah in the faces of all the lovely local boys who’d been referring to our new President for the past year and a half as “Johnny’s N-word” (only they didn’t say “N-word”), and I was squinting and concentrating and doing my best to play cribbage with Andy.

Here’s a hint: if you can’t count to fifteen, you’ve probably got no business playing cribbage.

But before he set to skunking me, Andy'd been in the kitchen making a lovely dinner of Chicken Something, Asparagus Maybe, and Rice I Think. By the time it was ready, I was at the point I didn’t want to eat because it would only interfere with my McDrunkitude, but he was sober and kind enough to insist that I give it a shot. So I ate asparagus with my fingers – Miss Manners would say that’s okay, even sober (and man, there’s a girl you don’t want to see drunk) – I skipped the rice, and I sort of shredded the chicken with a pair of forks, but at least some sort of sustenance got in me.

Then, naturally, I passed right out.

Well, not passed out. That’s not fair. Eating made me realize I was tired, so I put on my pjs and I brushed my teeth and everything. But the germane of it is (and yes, I do believe I made up that word in this context, but I don’t care; you may hate it, steal it, use it, vilify it or normalify it as you will; just be sure to credit me in the 2050 OED): I went to bed and left Andy alone watching television in our living room.

What happened next, from my perspective, was the following: 

· I got up to pee in the middle of the night. When I stood up from bed it felt as though my head stayed where it was, passing right through my body as it moved. Chalking this up to the drink, I went and peed and wiped and flushed (who washes in the middle of the night? especially when they’re drunk and their head’s still floating somewhere in the vicinity of the mattress?) and lay back down. I dreamed that I slept for a day and a half, waking up on Thursday evening to find that nobody noticed I was gone. Then I was shaken awake by Johnny, frantically asking me if I was okay.

What happened next, from Andy’s perspective, was this: 

· Johnny came home, agitated because he’d heard the n-word a bunch of times up at the pub and he (on his wife’s orders) is not allowed to hit anybody anymore. He, too, refused to eat dinner (poor sober Andy), but he put the kettle on and made himself a cup of tea. Then he watched The Golden Compass on demand – with Andy – for a while, until he, too, passed out. Really, this time. On the couch. With his shoes on. So Andy went to bed.

And what happened, from Johnny’s view, was along the lines of: 

· Those fuckers at the bar are a bunch of assholes dammit but what the hell why am I wearing boots and cacks this tea is cold but hang on a second why does the whole house smells like gas better try to stumble to the kitchen and holy crap a burner’s been left on but not burning so shut if off and oh my god go quick and shake your wife. She’s okay thank fucking god I better check on Andy he is snoring and obviously alive so there’s no need to wake him I’ll just open up some windows and go back to bed.

I (this is me again – me, EGE) bolted awake a half an hour later, shivering and thinking Holy Crap, the cats! But they were okay, too, and the house didn’t smell like gas anymore, so I closed the windows and cranked up the heat.

Nobody knows whose fault it was. Well, really it was our fault, me and Johnny's, for celebrating the change we want to see in the universe a little too rambunctiously. But what I mean is: nobody knows who left the burner on, Johnny or Andy. I don’t think Andy even knows it happened, he was all snug in the cozy guest room the whole time, and Johnny has officially taken the blame. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Everyone’s okay, and the AssVac did not explode.

God damn it.

The one time Johnny doesn’t wake up reaching for a smoke!


Ladyscot said...

Maybe it's time for a carbon monoxide detector! Glad you're all OK.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the time my housemate woke me with breakfast in bed. I squinted at the tray he crossly proffered to my hungover, still in bed self, and said 'what are those little black things?" They were the cocktail sausage rolls I'd drunkenly put on for a late night snack the night before that had been cooking all night.
If I were you I'd do what I did that night - I blamed the cat.

Sashimi said...

Yay! - Zing's back :)
And poor Andy :(