"You miserable, rotten son of a bitch! You did that and then you had the nerve to come home and climb into bed with me? Did it even enter that fucking head of yours that she could have given you something and that you could have brought it home and given it to me? Jesus Ryan, you are so disgusting that you make me want to puke."
"Oh come on Joyce, it didn't mean nothing. So I got drunk and got a little carried away. It wasn't cool and I'm sorry."
He stepped forward to put his arms around me and I shoved him away. He tripped going backwards and fell on the floor as I yelled at him, "You keep your filthy fucking hands off of me." I was so god damned mad at him that I looked around for a lamp or something to hit him with, but nothing was in reach. I stood there looking down at him and then I turned and ran from the apartment. When I got to the parking lot I realized I'd run off and left my purse on the table and my car keys were in my purse. I damned sure wasn't going back into the apartment — the mood I was in I was liable to kill Ryan. There was a park about twelve blocks away and I decided to go there and sit on a park bench and think of some way to make Ryan pay.
It was supposed to be a glorious weekend for us. It would be the first time in over three months that our work schedules gave us a weekend off together. It didn't start out well. I expected Ryan to rush home from work so we could get busy catching up on our sex life, but at six-thirty, after I'd been tapping my foot impatiently for an hour, he called and said he'd gotten hung up and would try and be home around ten. He tried to make it sound like he was stuck at work, but from the noises I heard in the background I figured that he was in a bar somewhere. Probably stopped with the boys after work for a drink or two and was having a hard time breaking away from them. I was pissed, but I'd been there and done that with the girls that I worked with.
He came home at nine-thirty, a very happy drunk, and he pulled a John Wayne impression as he came in the door. "Woman of the house, I'm home."
"I'm in the bedroom playing with your dinner" and I got busy stuffing a couple of fingers in my quim.
He came into the room shedding clothes and hollering, "Lass, have you no shame? To play with a man's dinner is a high crime. Cease and desist this very minute and let me have that which is mine by right."
It was a fun filled night, if you consider a lot of sex fun (which I do) and we fell asleep exhausted and in each other's arms.
The trouble started in the morning. I got up and went into the kitchen and put on the coffeepot and then I went and took a shower. Ryan was still asleep when I finished toweling off so I dressed and decided to throw a load of laundry in and get it done early. I picked up the trail of clothes that Ryan had left behind him on the floor on his way to the bed. I went through the pockets and put what I found on the dresser and then I went to throw the clothes into the laundry basket. I didn't see it until the clothes were falling toward the basket, but as soon as I saw it I knew what it was and a cold hand clutched at my heart. I reached down into the basket and pulled them out for a closer look. No mistake — none — there was lipstick on Ryan's underpants. My first impulse was to grab something and go over to the bed and wail on Ryan and probably the only reason I didn't was that if he was in the hospital I couldn't get the story. I took his briefs with me and went into the kitchen where I sipped coffee and waited for Ryan to get up.
I am not a patient person. I was on my fourth cup of coffee and Ryan was still in bed so I soaked a dishrag in cold water and went back into the bedroom. Holding the rag over his head I squeezed it and watched the water fall on him and then had the pleasure of seeing him sit up sputtering. "What the --, God damn it Joyce, what did you do that for?"
"For the fun of it asshole. Get your sorry ass out of bed; you and I have some talking to do."
I went back into the kitchen, sat down and waited. It took him about five minutes to collect himself and get to the kitchen. He poured himself a cup of coffee and then sat down at the table across from me. "What the hell is wrong with you Joyce? That ain't no way to be waking me up."
"Stop your bitching Ryan. I could have, and probably should have, done it with a cast iron frying pan."
I tossed his underwear on the table in front of him and said, "Tell me all about the lipstick you stud you."
He hemmed and hawed and tried to pretend he was too drunk to remember, but I didn't let up. Then it wasn't really his fault, his buddies put her up to it, he tried to fight her off, but his buddies held him down, yadda, yadda, yadda.
"So you fucked her."
"It wasn't like that Joyce, I didn't know what I was doing."
"You fucked her you miserable bastard and then you came home to me with her stink still on you" and then it got loud and here I was walking down the street and away from our apartment.
I sat on the park bench looking up at the sky and trying to put names on the different cloud formations as they passed over. I didn't have my watch so I had no idea how long I'd sat there. I was lost in thought when I heard a voice say, "It ain't natural for a pretty girl like you to be so serious on such a pretty day."
I looked over and saw an old black man sitting on the other end of the bench. I had been so lost in thought that I had never noticed him sitting down.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I said it just ain't natural for a pretty girl like you to be sitting here and being so serious on such a pretty day."
I looked around and said, "It is a beautiful day, isn't it. Too bad life sucks and it keeps you from enjoying it."
"Oh come on now Missy, what in your young life could possibly be so bad?"
I don't know why I did it, I had no real reason to, but I lied to the man. I told him that I was new in town, that my purse had been snatched, that I had no money and no place to go and I didn't have any idea what to do. I couldn't even call home because no one would be there until later in the evening and even then I couldn't call because I didn't even have a quarter to initiate the call from a pay phone. He gave me a long look and then he said, "Maybe old Otis can help you out. You don't have nothing to do until you can call home, right?"
I nodded my head yes.
"Maybe I can help you earn some money."
He saw the look that came over my face and noticed the way I sat up and drew back from him and he chuckled. "No, no Missy, nothing like that although a pretty girl like you could do real well at it. No Missy, what I have in mind is a little more menial. I live alone and I guess I never learned how to keep my place clean. Never had to, always had Martha and the two girls to do it. Even now the oldest, Lucy, comes over every other week and sees to the place, but she and her husband been visiting down to Georgia three weeks now. So if it wouldn't be beneath you I'd be willing to pay you seventy-five dollars to clean my place."