I Loved My Husband. I Loved Him So Much.
It was true — but since when does anything real bear so much repeating?
People have all sorts of hidden talents; I am magic with a chicken. Golden brown, garlic-blistered, hissing herb-scented steam when you slice into it after 20 minutes of being driven mad by the smell. Waiting is the hardest part of the process, but like every worthwhile sensual pleasure, a great dinner responds gorgeously to delayed gratification.
Chickens, like people, need time to rest after getting cooked.
After work on Tuesdays, I would strip off my slim black pantsuit and slip into yoga pants and one of D’s sweatshirts. I’d mix fresh herbs with salt and olive oil, then massage the mixture underneath the skin of a small bird.
Tuesdays were the only nights I had the apartment to myself — he taught an acting class from 7 to 10, his entire week whittled down to three hours of work.
D had turned his back on quotidian concerns like paying rent, consumed by a feverish belief in the immediate inevitability of a big-time career. Hollywood producers beckoned from seaside patios in Malibu; Broadway people made offers no reasonable playwright could refuse. Those phone calls were not hallucinations. I heard them. I was taken along to steak dinners, bore witness to promises made, dreams hatched, famous names dropped like a breadcrumb trail out of obscurity.
Everything was about to explode, so in the name of stability, I put my own creative work on hold and got a corporate job.
One night around 11, a producer called and told him the deal was off. They were moving forward, of course, just without him. She made him promise not to kill himself, or her. Suddenly Tuesday night scene study was all he had left.
“I love my husband. I love my husband so much.”
I would catch myself chanting this as I trotted home to the top-floor apartment we never should have tried to afford. It was true, but since when does anything real bear so much repeating?
This was a rough patch we’d tell our children about one day, when they were old enough to have torturous relationships…