I leave work as the sun sets, gold light warming my face while the car idles at a pending intersection. Courtney Barnett booms through my speakers, and I sing and bang my head along in earnest even though I suspect the people in the elevated truck in the neighboring lane are staring.
“I wanna go out but I wanna stay home
I wanna go out but I wanna stay home”
I don’t look at them. I refuse to give them the satisfaction of acknowledgement. It isn’t my fault I’m having more fun than they are.
The evening is chilly with an unforgiving wind from the north. And what I mean by that is, the evening is calling for soup and a chicken pesto panini. No tomatoes. Please. And so, Zupas it is.
I hurry out of the restaurant with my bounteous feast, to-go, just after five, before the dinner crowd shows up. How I hate the dinner crowd. The way they breathe and make noise and stand unnecessarily close and give cause for me to wait for my food. They’re unbearable, that dinner crowd. I stop for a Diet Coke on the way home, dirty and with fresh lime.
I get home and turn on all of the twinkle lights. Because this is the only way I can survive through a season with such greedily long nights – by stringing twinkle lights in every room. And lighting candles – actual candles, not any of this on/off-switch-artificially-flickering-battery-lit bullshit.
I’m sorry, I just feel strongly about candles.
As I was saying, I get home. In what I can only assume is record time, my jeans are off and the sweatpants are on, tucked into a cozy pair of socks. I post up on the bed. Que Gilmore Girls: “If you’re out on the road, feelin’ looonely, and soooo cold..” Que still-warm panini dipped in extra-creamy, extra-fattening soup – repeat until satisfied.
Do not misunderstand me. I do not eat in bed due to laziness. I do it for the thrill. Holding food so closely over the covers, where it could all spill at any minute with only the slightest slip of my hand. Now that is suspense.