Musette came storming up to the shop, right as I was getting out. I was running late. Elliot was already there. There were these little baby dreads popping out the front of his hoodie; that was new.
I had been helping a customer pick out a small, inexpensive dab rig. It had taken over an hour. Musette had called during the time I was helping him. My phone was vibrating on top of the metal drawers. The customer said that he didn’t mind if I answered it but by the time I got to it, I had already missed the call.
So I kept helping the customer. I didn’t check my messages or try to call Musette back. I’m professional like that. I find it difficult imagining me ignoring the customer to call or text my wife. He had a lot of questions. I was having to be very hands on.
No matter what I said, there was no appeasing Musette. We fought up until about the gyro stand, me telling her that I really was sorry, her asking me things like how I can be sorry when I do it all the time, and making fun of the difficulty I have answering my phone while at work.
I tell her that she never answers her phone while she’s at work, but she plays that off as a ridiculous thing to bring up, as her work is much, much more hands on and intense than mind; and my job doesn’t matter, remember? My job is to take care of her, to add that little extra umph when necessary. That’s what I accepted when I accepted the career path of writer. Her job is the serious one.
I remind her about that one time when I came to meet her to go out to dinner with her coworkers and I had sat out on the benches in the courtyard for thirty minutes while she had been around the corner talking with her friends; but she gets upset about that too.
You’re just trying to win the fight, she says. But there’s nothing to win. You did wrong, and there’s nothing you can say that will change that. You’re just going to have to live with it. I’ll get over it when I’m over it.
A couple blocks from our apartment, after we have stopped yelling, and after having walked in silence for over ten minutes, I ask her if I can hold her hand. She lets me and we walk the rest of the way home, still silently, holding hands.