…Beggars would ride.

Marnie finished scrubbing the floor where Jack had knocked over the pan of macaroni and cheese and then left it to harden. She sighed and wondered if he had been drunk when he did it, or just carless and uncaring, it hardly mattered. She looked around the kitchen at the tired formica counter, scrubbed clean of color in some patches but an almost bile orange in all the rest. It was clean even if it was ugly. Chipped, mismatched dishes were in the dish drainer, probably dry by now, but she didn’t feel like putting them away. They could wait.

 Marnie walked out of the kitchen and saw Jack “asleep” in his ratty la-z-boy, with a nearly empty fifth of Popov next to him, nestled like a teddy bear in the crook of his arm. The living room was mostly clean. Since Jack hadn’t gone anywhere all day, he hadn’t bothered getting dressed, which meant there was no trail of clothes for her to pick up. She wasn’t sure what was more aggravating, cleaning up after a 32-year-old man who was capable of working with just about any kind of engine around, but not of picking up a pair or socks, or when that same man didn’t bother to go out and do the work he was so good at. She turned off the big, flat screen TV, showing some guy eating wriggling bugs, or grubs in much too much detail for her enjoyment. The TV (and premium cable) was one of two nice things in their house. She continued down the hall to the other one.

 At the end of the hall, Marnie turned into her “office,” and closed the door. Taking a deep breath, she stretched and then blew it out, as though she could blow out a birthday candle and make a wish.  Marnie sat down in the little barrel chair in the corner, opened up the laptop computer on the snack table next to it, and smiled. This was her reward after a long day. Jack could go ahead and watch whatever he wanted on the TV, but Marnie had her computer, her link to another world, another life.

 She logged into the computer, password protected, even though she knew Jack would never even turn the machine on, let alone try to check into what she did online. Once he realized all of the internet porn charged your credit card to see anything “good,” he decided the computer was useless.

 She logged into the Jackson Marina blog.

 “Jackson is laughing at me tonight. Since he has no classes on Thursdays and only evening office hours, we decided to go antique-ing today. He was sure that I would find some new treasure that I would want to refinish or somehow use in my decorating for Saturday’s dinner party.  I insisted I just wanted to look for an old spinning wheel (I still haven’t found one I really like, that works, and although I appreciate all of the posts about lovely new reproductions available, I really want the real thing.) Of course, he was right. I found a beautiful, bronze urn that will make a stunning centerpiece with a dried flower arrangement.  I know, most of you are wondering why on earth I would use dried flowers in August, when there is so much to choose from in the garden.  Because I found, to the detriment of the no-longer-white linen tablecloth, the urn has a leak. I can’t quite get my hand into the bottom to plug the hole, and as Jackson knew I would, I want to use it Saturday night, which means I can’t get it mended by the jeweler in time. So dried flowers it is, and Jackson is laughing.

It can be maddening sometimes, how well he knows me, but I know when I talk to some of my friends, that I am very lucky to have a companion with whom I am so well matched. Of course, we aren’t perfect! We have our spats and differences of opinion like anybody else. I made my chicken breasts with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, and diced fresh tomatoes with garlic and a little balsamic vinaigrette over home-made fettuccine (you know what it’s like when the tomatoes are coming in gangbusters, of course some will be canned, but you want to use them fresh as much as possible) and I put it all on the table with a couple of glasses of vouvrai. He looked at it and said “Again?”

Now, I don’t know what all of you are planning for the weekend, but Jackson and I are having some friends over for dinner on Saturday, when my new centerpiece will be on display if it kills me. I’m falling down on the job, because I haven’t decided on all of the menu yet, although I’m going to indulge a recent craving for Tiramisu at dessert. I may be a little busy for the next few days, so please forgive me if I don’t post for a few days.”

 Marnie, smiled as she finished keying in her entry. She had two days to dream of a wonderful dinner party. She had to finalize the menu, but she was leaning towards fish. August called for something light, didn’t it? What would the entertainment be, besides scintillating conversation of course.  Maybe someone across the lake is going to set off some fireworks that they can enjoy from the deck with their dessert or after dinner drinks. Marnie shut down the computer to head to bed. She was scheduled to work a double at the diner tomorrow and needed to get some sleep. Thinking about the dinner party she was “hosting” would help her get through her work day.




All rights reserved.  This blog and all it’s contents is the original creation of Jennifer Browne, the author / publisher.  No part of the contents may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the author / publisher.


~ by friendlycurmudgeon on October 22, 2009.

One Response to “…Beggars would ride.”

  1. Did I mention born to write. Sorry, I sometimes read backwards in time.

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