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Fiction Funny Romance

“Cheyenne, remember when we screamed over... what was it, who would take the reins for dinner?” 

“You wanted to make green bean casserole.” 

“Which you said was, and I quote, the kind of dish you make for someone you despise.”

“My mom went to her grave without a kind word for me, and made green bean casserole every other night. Can you blame me?” 

“I guess not. And you had on this, let me see if I can remember.” 

“It was a heather grey sweatsuit, Mitchell.”

“Oh yeah and this furiously long ponytail.” 

“Swept my butt when I walked anywhere and then we were in that brick apartment.”

“The stuffy one with the broken sink and noisy neighbors.” 

“And the pigeons that shit on the fire escape.”

“I wanted to love that fire escape so badly.” 

“I did but I cleaned it periodically, especially the night we fought about dinner.” 

“You probably wanted somewhere to breathe.”

“If the casserole didn't suffocate me, the toxic air between us would have.”

“True. I was all, then what do you suggest at Chez Cheyenne?” 

“And I was real damn curt. I said, ``not green bean casserole.” 

“Felt like a death knell.” 

“You were trying to compete with three-cheese ravioli. What did you think was gonna happen?”

“I don't know but back then, I was enraged. I swear I was only seeing red.”

“You called me biased and self-serving.” 

“Then you called me sullen and obstinate.” 

“Which is funny because I must have been parroting something my mom called me in the past.” 

“I bet you're glad she's dead.” 

“Glad is a harsh word. I'd say, yeah, maybe glad works. She didn't like the three-cheese ravioli.” 

“Or green bean casserole but she preferred it in spite of you.” 

“She existed in spite of me. Everything she did was in spite of me. She begged God for a boy.” 

“And God didn't listen.” 

“She stopped going to church because of that. Because of me. That's what Dad said before he passed.” 

“He liked our food but wasn't fond of our argument.”

“We DID separate for three months.” 

“Damn. Over dinner?”

“It was bigger than dinner, wasn't it? It had to have been bigger than dinner.” 

“Sometimes, it's dinner and nothing else.” 

“Kind of pedestrian for an argument.” 

“Kind of obstinate?” 

“No, that's not what obstinate means. It was pedestrian though; it was silly.” 

“For three months. I tried to pad the time out with work and online poker.” 

“Online poker? What about your friends?”

“The friends who are studying abroad?”

“Oh yeah, you did mention that. Sorry.”

“It’s fine. They could be busy having fantastic sex and tiramisu in Italy.” 

“Venice or Naples or somewhere else?”

“Could be Venice. Hell if I know or care.” 

“For someone who doesn't care, you're not convincing.”

“I mourned their distance during the time we were on a break. During our break.”

“Your English is trash.”

“Gutter trash.”

“Pure garbage in the wind.” 

“But you mourned their distance. That's sweet of you.”

“I am jealous though. A little bit. What was your time like?”

“Time away from us?”

“Time away from us dot com slash net or https whatever.” 

“Drugs. Hardcore drugs.”

“Liar.”

“I know. I cried and exercised like a maniac.”

“You wept and exercised maniacally? At the same time?”

“I didn't weep. Jesus wept. I cried. Yeah, I did exercise and cry at the same time for the first four or five days.” 

“Abs, deltoids, calves?”

“Everything got worked out. Some days, I did depression planks.”

“What are those?”

“They're like planks except you lie flat and do nothing.” 

“Passive exercise?”

“More like no exercise. I couldn't bring myself to work out those days.” 

“Me either.” 

“Mitchell, your gut looks like a freaking watermelon. What day did you work out?”

“I run my mouth and stretch the truth to customers over the phone from home for an insurance agency. Does that count?”

“It does if you imagine it does.” 

“My imagination extends to eating.”

“And your stomach extends to the universe.”

“Hey, the universe has a plan for me.”

“I hope it's a diet plan.” 

“Don't poke my stomach, Cheyenne. It's sensitive. Speaking of sensitive.” 

“If you tease our old landlord, I will roundhouse kick you to the moon, Mitchell.”

“He sobbed like a baby when we took a break. Said we were the best couple he watched in the last decade and he watched his share of couples.”

“Paulo was a sweetheart.”

“Because he gave us a free month of rent for watching his nightmarish terrier-pit half-breed hell-child?”

“It was a shih tzu and it was an angel. Maybe you misremembered her. Misremembered Fiona.”

“I can remember when a dog is hellish to me. Pissed on my good corduroys.”

“Thank God. There’s no such thing as good corduroys.”

“This must have been beneath the surface of the dinner argument because I adore corduroys.”

“The way I adored Fiona. We had a shared custody deal going on with her prior to the break.”

“We made solid co-parents. Paulo noticed that and threw us a bone, I think. Literally and figuratively since Fiona loved those.”

“She did, didn’t she?”

“I don’t misremember anything. Believe me. Wait a minute, did you pick up on something or is it me?”

“I don’t think I follow.”

“The way we leap from topic to topic. We can’t home in on one thing and stay there, can we?”

“Not at all which makes me wonder why we fought in the first place.”

“I could have laid off the green bean casserole. And your gingham jacket.”

“You wore it out of spite. Like my mom. You always wear my clothes when you’re angry with me. But your arms were smaller than hers; the jacket fit you better.”

“That is an embarrassing fact to accept.”

“Once it’s set in stone, you can’t undo it. Can’t un-wear that jacket. I have it on film.”

“Oh no that’s right.”

“It’s canon, Mitchell. It’s part of our lives now.”

“Leave that out of the photo album.”

“It’s golden though.”

“I beg of you. Don’t do it.”

“But it’s adorable.”

“It’s embarrassing.”

“Is it emasculating?”

“I don’t think like that. Your mom did though.”

“What did she do that wasn’t awful?”

“Besides die? Let me stop. That joke is stale now. She yelled at guys who catcalled you.”

“She was a class act that way and solely in that way.”

“But it was something.” 

“It was something. I didn’t give her credit growing up because I thought she did it to flaunt her confidence. She knew I didn’t soar out of the womb as a confident gift to the masses.” 

“She could have but she didn’t want you to be catcalled either way.”

“Find someone who can do both.” 

“Make you feel insecure AND stand up for you in some area of your life? Already found someone.”

“Stand up and let me kick your ass.”

“I thought you were gonna say, who’s the lucky lady?”

“She can’t be that lucky if she makes you feel insecure and stands up for you in certain moments.”

“I don’t feel insecure.”

“The green bean casserole says hello.”

“That’s one thing.”

“Your weight, the way you look in my clothes, do you want me to continue?”

“Point taken.”

“No woman likes a man of convenience for anything other than his convenience.”

“Always a best man, never a groom.”

“Believe it or not, I'm not dead-set on the idea of marriage. It feels trite.”

“Dated?”

“Yeah and then that's not exactly a tradition I wanna subscribe to, I guess.”

“I don't mind strutting down the aisle to meet you in a white dress.”

“Oh hell no, Mitchell. Unless you're the one in the white dress, I won't do it.”

“I get that because it IS an important part of the tradition. Not that I'd be against it.”

“You're romantic in that way. Of course you wouldn't be against it. Simply not gonna get wrangled into that life.”

“You don't wanna get carried over the threshold?”

“And jump a broom around the immediate family, extended family, and a handful of friends I won't see much after a while AND pop one or two chdren out of my vagina because it's needed to complete a “normal” family portrait? Trite af.”

“Cheyenne, did you use “af” unironically outside of texting?”

“That was ironic! Don't do that to me.”

“Sure it was. Sounded too relaxed to be ironic.”

“Whatever. I'm not getting married and if you want that, I hope you find someone who can provide that for you.”

“I don't wanna get married either. I said I wouldn't be against the idea and not that I'm flat-out for it.”

“But you're flat-out for green bean casserole.”

“I'm about to kick you out of my room in a minute.”

“Speaking of kicking, did you know Paulo’s son is going to a football camp to learn the ropes, and more?”

“The skyscraper with the good footwork? I'm sure he'd be amazing sprinting for field goals and all that.”

“I'm talking about fútbol and not the American one where players are paid copious amounts of money to crash into each other.”

“And international football doesn't do that enough?”

“Forget about that. Paulo's son is coming right out of high school for that.” 

“I don't know the details behind that process but good for him.”

“How long have we been snuggling by the fireplace?”

“What time is it now?”

“It is… 3:30 am. Oh my gosh, we've been talking about nothing and everything for three hours.” 

“Oh crap, and I have work tomorrow.”

“At least the fireplace is toasty. What time do you work?”

“It is toasty and I work at 10.” 

“You better get some sleep then, Cheyenne.”

“Get some sleep in our brick apartment with a community garden and terrace.” 

“And no more room for your plants.”

“It's called a community garden for a reason. Duh.”

“It's 3:32 in the morning. I have an excuse.” 

“For everything. I know. Gimme my late night kiss, please.”

“Goodnight, Cheyenne. I love you.”

“I love you too and I’ve got something special planned for dinner tonight.” 

“If it's a green bean casserole, I'll attract all the pigeons to our fire escape.” 

“Alright, alright. None of your mediocre dishes.”

“If my green bean casserole is mediocre, then I guess your banana pudding last week is light-years worse than that.”

“The claws are out and I'm awake without coffee. Let me sleep and recharge enough to embarrass you later. I'll let the banana pudding remark slide... for now.” 

“Why does insulting one another feel freeing?”

“Because we love each other and if we can't laugh at jokes about ourselves, we shouldn't laugh at anyone else.” 

February 17, 2021 09:53

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3 comments

04:57 Feb 25, 2021

The blog talk is often of food items. What was the rough patch and how did they reconnect hasn't been fully explained. Category FUNNY and ROMANCE don't seem to apply. CRITIQUE CIRCLE

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Daniel Brown
15:36 Feb 26, 2021

Thank you for the critique. I understand your hang-ups. I guess I wasn’t clear on that.

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00:21 Feb 27, 2021

Than ks. Regards.

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