A Midnight Meal, with a Healthy Smattering of Asides

A Midnight Meal, with a Healthy Smattering of Asides

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I depart … unless I stay up and do laundry.  And let’s face it, a 275 lb. man running around in the buff is a bad advertisement for both jello and nudist colonies.  So here I sit, staring down the barrel of midnight, waiting for my skivvies to dry.

“Aren’t they cute?” my wife asks.  (No, she’s not mentioning my unmentionables.)  I look over to see a nine-inch length of rainbow-colored yarn.

“Cool,” says I. “Whatcha makin’?”

“Mittens for Kenny.”  I blink. … And look again at the nine-inch length of rainbow-colored yarn.

“Um. … Cool,” I say warily.  (I’ve been married 15 years.  I know better than to ask obvious questions like, “Shouldn’t it look more like a mitten than a belt?”)  I watch as she pauses, holds up the yarn, and slowly scans the row she’s crocheting.  I know from experience and dumb questions that she’s counting the stitches, and this is why I could never crochet.  Me and math don’t get along so well.

I tried.  I really did.  I wanted to be a physics instructor like my father.  But the numbers were against me.  When it came to math, the only equation my brain knew was A + B = Cya later!  In fact, the best math grade I ever got was for extra credit in Algebra — I rewrote “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” and made it into a song about … ummm … algebraic stuff.  (Nifty, huh?  I’ve never had the opportunity to use “algebraic” in a sentence before!)  Granted, it may have helped that I presented her with a Christmas gift afterwards, but I’d like to think I did it on the strength of my lyrical prowess alone.  I realize how delusional that sounds, but the doctors say it’s okay.

So there I sit, or here — existentially speaking, it doesn’t really matter — when the dryer buzzes rather loudly.  (Does your dryer buzz loudly?  Mine sounds like the buzzer for Family Feud set at 300 decibels.) I nearly fall out of my chair, which makes my wife laugh, which is a good thing, considering the fact that she’s been muttering to herself for quite some time as she undoes row upon row of crochet stitches.  (See?  I’m not the only one who can’t count.)

I hop up out of the chair, realizing at the last possible moment — that moment named “point of no return” — that my leg is asleep.  Down I go, all 275 lbs.  in forward, descending motion, arms flailing, mouth agape, praying loudly and quickly to God.  BOOM!!!  That’ll leave a mark. … and a crease. … and maybe even a fracture or two.

My wife jumps up quickly, concern in her voice, until I mutter a carpet-muffled, “Amen.”  Then she laughs, because she knows I’ll be alright … eventually.

So I pick up myself, my basket of laundry, and what’s left of my pride and head upstairs for a well-deserved — and obviously much-needed — night’s sleep, while my giggling maker of rainbow mittens crochets long into the night. …

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