Yesterday I surprised Dan with gourmet sushi since not too recently he discovered, with my relentless persistence, that he actually loved the stuff. He had a chance to guess what my surprise was on my drive home but after a lewd guess I knew he wasn’t gonna get it right. Certainly something special like that would mean he’d try to be pleasant for the rest of our evening at the house.
He got a phone call mid-way through our dinner in front of the TV which he instinctively put on speaker phone. Luckily for me there’s something about holding the phone and pressing it to his ear that he finds difficult so I often survey his conversations.
A woman was stuck in traffic, trying to find the name of some street so she could get to where she needed to be. Explaining that the road she needed to find had some odd name and was right by Great Lakes Crossing, she wondered if he could help.
The first thing I did was grab my phone and try to google the right name for her based on how she thought she had heard it spoken. After my best guess, Daniel repeated it and she said, “I don’t know who that was but tell them I said thank you.”
He didn’t tell her who “that” was. In fact there was an odd silence about it as he made sure she was okay before hanging up. When I asked who it was he played it down as an “annoying coworker”. Then I thought to myself, if you’re lost…who the hell would think to call him? Ask a friend. Family member. Google that shit.
Later on she texted him: we were all way off! It was actually [whatever the hell it was].
I texted back: My girlfriend wasn’t even close, lol.
Then I deleted “his” response. No matter what is said after by either party, if that one little word is any consolation, I should be able to tell if there’s a problem.
My mother has tried to decipher for me, that throughout this realization of how Daniel fails to regard me to his world, I need to understand the situation.
“You two started dating right after his wife passed. He probably worries that people will judge you guys and see him in a bad light. He is still grieving. That would be practically impossible to explain and he wants some time to pass.”
I just want people to know that it is inappropriate to act a certain way with him. They should know he has been seeing someone for over a year and then they can decide whether they want to try to whore it up or not. I’m looking out for my lost boyfriend, my bad bitches, and the queen incognito.
Admittedly, these are not the battles I was expecting to be fighting on the new shore.
Today I asked to see utility bills and he freaked out, needing to know my purpose. Holding tight to his most recent statements, he declared some numbers out loud and proceeded to walk away.
“Daniel, hey, hold on.”
One of them showed a $200 credit being applied, and only a fraction of that being the actual reflection of energy used. Another was not a monthly bill, but needed to be divided by three. Impossible to know exactly what I was looking at in one instant, he pulled away again, never asking if I wanted to write anything down.
“Well when my wife died I accidentally paid a bill twice, so that’s the credit on there…”
That was over a year ago. Sounds like one hell of a bill.
I compare the numbers I saw to my monthly rent. It is interesting, to say the least.
Later on he sits in his gaming chair in front of the 70 inch TV and asks, “Were you in here today?”
“In the gaming room? Yes. It was my day off.”
“What were you doing in here?”
“…playing video games, Daniel.”
After being unable to hide a disapproving look, he made a comment that the remote for the little screen downstairs was on the end table. It was his subtle way to suggest I keep out of the gaming room.
As Daniel approached me, I folded my laptop down. He wanted to know if I was interested in playing a co-op game with him after having spent most of the evening in my room – which has begun to resemble an abandoned storage locker. (My things aren’t a part of His House.) Dark, towering items cleared away at the center for my desk where I sit at the center of what’s left of Me.
He noticed that in the process of my writing session, I had removed the bracelet he bought me – or, rather found still in the box, in his house, and gifted it to me. It was lying across a CD case.
“And there’s my bracelet, because you don’t love me anymore.” I was quiet. Daniel doesn’t express me to his world. He walks around without his wedding ring and that’s the message he sends. Maybe I shouldn’t be different.
We play, and he seems agitated for the remainder of the evening. He calls his mother in bed, which I miss because there is a towel over my eyes to block out the television. He asks a question that I answer before I realize he’s actually asking his mother – who would very much not appreciate hearing my voice “before bed” time, or any other time for that matter.
The next day he goes to school to decorate his classroom for the approaching semester. He calls me at an odd time and I hear women on the other end. He asks me to hold on and I think I hear him tell someone that he “already has” me “on the phone”. For some reason Daniel starts talking to me about having a craving for lobster.
“I was thinking, maybe we could go out to dinner on Friday if that’s something you would like to do.”
So what do you think is happening here?