I've spent the gas money on golf,
tossed chicken skin at the dogs,
and in one sitting,
eaten a box of Cheez-Its.
My wife is visiting her mother, and I'm staying
up until 4:00 a.m. and waking at noon.
I've called up Enrico's Bistro
for hot wings and beer,
thrown pizza boxes like Frisbees
across the family room,
and clogged the drain
because peeling a potato
over the sink is easier
than over the trash.
Tonight, I can't get off the couch,
so I'm watching a film
by Charlotte Zwerin
on Thelonious Monk.
In this black and white footage,
his wife Nellie is frantically
walking around the bed
to give him a belt because
he's taking too long to put on his socks.
Then the camera cuts
to Thelonious shining, dressed,
and buttoning his blazer
as Nellie slips him into his trench coat.
Thelonious at the piano, "I Should Care"
plays in the background
at an airport where they sit,
and he eats an apple, and Nellie waits
to wipe his chin with a tissue.
I've been roaming the house
alone all week, and suddenly,
I don't mind ten shampoo bottles
crowding the bathtub,
none of them empty,
laundry baskets sprouting flip-flops,
or junk drawers stuffed
with overpriced deodorant and make-up.
I might even be okay
with being dragged to the Dollar Tree
where my wife will take
fifteen minutes to pick out an air freshener.
Before she gets back tomorrow,
since the refrigerator is empty,
I'll leave a note on the door
for her to meet me at La Boulangerie,
that fancy French café she loves,
where I'll wait in the patio
until she appears, the hem of her dress
fluttering in the shadows beneath the eaves,
our table set with coffee,
open-faced mushroom sandwiches,
and strawberry tarts that remind me
of the tulips she grows
in the garden.