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Jewish World Review
May 23, 2009
/ 28 Iyar 5769
My wife has left me. She packed up, hopped a plane and now I'm all alone. No, she's not getting a divorce; she's just visiting her family back east for 3 weeks. The good news is she'll be coming back to me. But right now I'm home alone and it feels strange. It's been quite a while since the two of us have been separated for any length of time. I'm scared. HELP! HOW DO YOU WORK THIS STUPID WASHING MACHINE??
I'm only kidding. Don't think that I'm a perfect idiot, I'm not. Nobody's perfect. I know how to do stuff without Jane. I've been cooking for myself, for example. This morning for breakfast I made a half of a grapefruit and toast. Last night I cooked myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I can do stuff. I watch television, listen to music, water the plants, read the papers, go to bed, and wake up - all by myself. The truth is, doing these things feels very alien without my wife around. The house seems to take on a different dynamic when you're alone in it.
For instance, I have become aware of noises that I never heard when Jane was here. Little creaks and pops and groans like the house was digesting or something. Maybe the house was trying to talk to me, like "Where did she go? What did you do with her?" Credit me with not taking the bait. I never answered the house's probing questions, not once. What happened to Jane is none of its business. WHY CAN'T I FIND THE STUPID CALL WAITING BUTTON ON THIS PHONE?
The worst part is at night when I go to bed. I get into bed, turn off the light and …that's it. Nothing else. No one to wait for. No one to say "good night, sweet dreams" to. It's very strange and it is the only time in the entire day when I feel lonely. That's when an uncomfortable emptiness settles over the house. Even the house is speechless. Not that I would ever answer it anyway. I told you, I don't talk to houses.
While she's been gone my sister and brother have both had me over for dinners at their homes. It's been very nice being with the family and everything. I think, though, that my brother and sister think I'm helpless without Jane. Isn't that funny? And also they want to make sure that their big brother doesn't get too lonesome and, you know, start to do something crazy like talking to the house. But I'm fine. I'm really okay. HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS STUPID BED WITHOUT WRINKLES?
In just about a week Jane will be home and our lives will get back to normal. The one thing I really won't miss having to do, will be taking take of her African violets. I never knew those flowers needed so much attention. Like taking care of a baby or an animal. Or a baby animal even. Actually this trip was a good break for both of us, I think. It gave her a chance to spend some extended personal time with her side of the family and it gave me a chance to get to know the house a little better. WHERE DOES SHE HIDE THE HAND TOWELS?
Meanwhile, I think I'll cook up something really special for dinner tonight. Grapenuts cereal with sliced bananas sounds good. No, wait. I had that two nights ago. Okay, tonight I'll prepare a delicious bowl of popcorn. I can always wash that down with an Eskimo Pie and some Cheez-Its later on. I like to keep my meals balanced.
Frankly, I can't wait for Jane to get back. For one thing, it will nice to have someone around here to answer my questions, because this stupid house hasn't been any help at all. And if it continues to ignore me like this, I swear I'll stop speaking to it entirely. WILL YOU PLEASE STOP MAKING THOSE NOISES!
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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