I was sprawled out on the couch, cuddling with the dogs. E was sprawled on the other, cuddling with a blanket. We were zoning, tired, unfocused. I don’t remember what we were even watching. But he looked over at me, and said “Come here.” I wiggled out from under the dog pile and stretched out full-length on top of him. He wrapped his arms around me, settled me into the crook of his body and covered me up with the quilt. He pet me, in long strokes down my back. “There,” he said. “Is that what you needed?” “Mmmprrrhhh,” I said.
Yesterday was full of things I didn’t realize I needed, wanted, and had been missing terribly. After a frantic Tuesday back in the office, so much catch-up and a flurry of jobs re-scheduled and emergencies and staying late, Wednesday settled back down into a routine. I got a lot of freelance work done on the train, got to work in plenty of time and even had a moment for breakfast. I was scheduled all day with jobs I don’t mind doing–actually satisfying ones. People dropped by my desk, in waves–we missed you, how was your weekend. People said things like, we should get drinks. We should get sushi. You have my eternal friendship. You are awesome. Drinks? And I beamed all day, like a flashlight with new batteries.
Lunch with E–we went and got him a kilt, for the holiday party this weekend. The proprietor helped E on with the jacket, the vest, the kilt, and we all stood back. “Have you ever seen anything more gorgeous?” I said. “Shush,” E said. “There is nothing more magnificent than a big man in a kilt,” the proprietor said, and it was all I could do not to high five him, because oh, yes. Then the best pizza I’ve had in ages, holding hands under the table. You look so cute today, baby, he said. I sipped my Diet Coke and beamed like I was heading up to the Starship Enterprise.
After work, a NaNoWriMo write-in at the community writing center, and it is filled with people you could not make up in real life. Elmer Fudd’s love child, a twitchy lady in a bear sweatshirt and mock turtleneck dickie. Very, very serious nerds. “I JUST TYPE THE LYRICS TO MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE SONGS WHEN I RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY!” one of them shrieks. J and I spend the entire time giggling on IM, between working on our word counts. The writing center people are so glad to see me, and they snuggle me lots and tell me I am so pretty and they miss me so much, and let’s go get drinks! And tattoos! One of them has the best tattoo on her ass, pretty much ever in the history of tattoos. You should get one too, she says! I beamed like a big old truck in the fog.
Then home, with a pitstop for hot dogs, some of them corn-enrobed. E waiting for me in the computer room, and the dogs are so delighted to see me, they crawl up on me as soon as I sit down. And I am perfectly relaxed and perfectly happy, filled up to the top with things I didn’t realize I had been missing, and everything is almost completely complete. As E tucks me in on top of him and pets me, long strokes down my back, and I start to drift off to the sounds of Mars Attacks, I realized that okay, now everything is completely complete. And that I am starting to get the flu.