I wasn’t big on the institution of marriage, especially since I had just been released from some crackpot’s idea of an asylum. I wasn’t ready for the holy state of acrimony, but he was sick of being my insignificant other. He really wanted to integrate—on my nerves. He talked me into it when he installed a built-in closet with me in it. When he finally let me off the hook, we sealed it with a hiss and became officially engaged—in a brawl. He had a nice smile though and I was quite enameled with him, and a cute pencil mustache which I would sharpen every night.
His name was Bob Kaic and he was an old-fashioned guy. His email address was rkaic@ slomail.com. At my wedding I wore a queasy-colored dress infestooned with carbuncles and everybody got nauseous. It was a blustery day and it was hard for guests to hold down their food so I was glad we had opted for the bag lunch. For our honeymoon we went paraphrasing at Lacuna Beach, where he told me to jettison any big ideas I had. We tried swimming but I was so polluted I dissolved into brackish tears. Then we hiked through a petrified forest but I was more scared than the wood. I forgot to pack my camera and he sniped at me for being unfocused. Afterward we threw pennies in the soda fountain and watched them corrode, then ambled down the boardwalk but found it tedious. The hotel offered us the bridal suite but I bucked at that, just because I have saddle bags and was wearing a halter top is no reason to be mean. I should have paid more attention to my reservations, but it was spur of the moment.
Bob wouldn’t shut up though and gave me a communicative disease. His philosophy of life confused me, not surprising since he was born in Farrago, North Dakota. He lived up near the Indians in Mishmash for a while, then traveled overseas to Gallimaufry and Pastiche. His family came from all walks of life—his father limped, his mother waddled, and his brother had two left feet. His dad was a Doctor of Scatology down at the free clinic, where he was head of Janitorial Services. Bob had an Italian uncle who would never let him do anything—his name was Veto. He once smacked poor Bob with a waffle iron, it left quite an impression—he had hot cross buns for a month. His sister, Compass Rose, was a Girl Scout leader, and his grandfather, Mort, sat in front of the TV impersonating the living. Not his fault though, he had brain surgery by a doctor who was operating under the influence and accidentally installed a dinner plate in his head.
Bob claimed he was an upstanding guy but I usually saw him horizontal. He was a musician, he liked to play the strumpet and was a patron of the tarts. He was short and fat so I called him a jumbo shrimp and he yelled “don’t call me that you oxymoron!” I said come on, we’re all adulterous here. Sometimes I would get engrossed just looking at him.
When we were packing to move into a bigger apartment it turned into a boxing match. One night he came after me with an axiom but it was so illogical I laughed. He chased me outside in the rain where I lost a shoe in the mud. I was hopping mad. When I tried to get back inside he pierced me with his eyes but it was just an entry wound. Once we argued over who ate the last apple—but the core of the problem went deeper, I was a fruit loop. We had no money and lived on Ramen noodle soup, a low-viscosity solution. I told him I couldn’t live in a vacuum but when he showed me how roomy it was inside I said I’d try to pick up the pieces.
But he turned into a bitter man and the smell of vinegar was overpowering. We finally came to a fork in the road but realized we needed it for our potato salad. We labored under the delusion that things would improve, but it was a thankless job with no benefits. The union finally got busted and I’m back to being self-deployed. That seven-month itch really burns.