Women Always Leave Me
She was putting on her jacket getting ready to slip out.
“Where did I put my God damn keys?” She hollers.
I was sure her question was rhetorical so I didn’t answer fearing I might receive a response marinated in anger. I sat on the couch and continued watching the television. Next I could hear her throwing shit about the kitchen shouting profanities, pounding on the countertop, accompanied by intermittent groans of frustration.
” Have you seen my keys? I could’ve sworn I just had them?”
Her voice resonating through the apartment.
She suddenly appears like magic standing in front of me blocking my view of the television.
” Are you gonna answer me? What’s your fucking problem?”
Now it’s obvious the question was intended for me to respond.
” No love I haven’t seen them. Would you like me to help you look?” I say in a sympathetic tone.
” If it wouldn’t be too much of a chore.”
As I get up to assist in the search, she slaps the TV off button to be sure I wouldn’t have any distractions. The result of her action produces a familiar jingle of keys as they drop out of her hand onto the floor.
” I believe I’ve solved the mystery of where your keys are. They’ve been in your hand the entire time.” I say while laughing. ” I’ve done the same thing more than once. It’s your mind playing a trick on you. Letting you know that you’re only one step away from insanity.”
” It’s not funny. So you’re saying I suffer from some type of mental deficiency ?”
” No that’s not what I meant. All I was trying to do…” She interrupts.
” I’m sorry. Just experiencing one of those days when everything is off-kilter. No, don’t you dare ask if I’m on my period.”
“When have I ever acted in such an insensitive manner? You talk to me as though I’m some college frat boy. A dim witted shit for brains jock with the manners of an inbred hillbilly. What have I done or most likely not have done to cause you to treat me with such contempt?”
“Santiago I need to know what we’re doing? Where are we going? There’s no plans for our future. It’s the same routine over and over. It’s no fun anymore. Are you going to be a drug crazed addict your entire life? Are we going to stay together? Do you love me?”
” Jesus Christ Jess which question do you want me to not have an answer for first? Come here sit-down. Let’s talk about this and see if we can possibly come up with a solution to your questions.”
” Oh no you don’t! You’re not going to pull that shit on me! I know exactly what you’re doing you silver tongued con-man. I’m savvy to your used car salesman pitch. I’ve witnessed you convince someone you owed money into not only feeling guilty for them asking for you to pay up but they end up lending you more.”
She had me pegged. I was going to sweet talk her into a state of tranquility knowing she’d become bored and uninterested in continuing the conversation.
” Jessica why the hell are you still here with me if you’re so displeased by our current arrangement? You act as though it’s a deplorable lifestyle and I’m the cause for your every touch or sadness. There aren’t any bars or chains restraining you from leaving. You’re not a hostage or prisoner being kept against your will. You can’t just bushwhack me with questions expecting me to have answers for the future? I’m not a fucking Psychic. If you’re unhappy with me and the way things are put your ass on the tracks, leave, take the Midnight Train back to Georgia and your ex-husband. There won’t be any hard feelings or harsh remarks.”
” But Santi I love you. Why can’t we live a normal life and be happy, grow old together? We could travel through Mexico, Central and South America like you promised. Your addiction is out of control and harder for us to afford. I’m not peddling my ass on the street anymore and I want you to get clean. Is that too much to hope for?”
” The only normal I’m aware of is in Illinois, no way I’m going back there. I’m not saying our lifestyle is typical behavior but you knew the circumstances before getting involved. I’m correct?”
” I know Santi, I never thought I’d feel the way I do for you. You’re so smart, you’re funny and make me laugh. You have so much potential it hurts me to see you wasting it. And you’re easy on the eyes, good looking most of the time.”
” Telling someone they have potential is just another way of saying you’re not as dumb as you look. I don’t know what you want from me, what you want me to do! I’m not going into another Rehab program. Rehab is for quitters and I’m no quitter!”
” How can you joke at a time like this?”
” Ya well I’ve got a question. Why do you have all those keys? Did you buy a car? Get a job as a maintenance woman or a Real Estate Agent? Where are you heading off this early in the morning?”
” Early in the morning? It’s five in the afternoon dumbass and I’ve been working at Jeff’s Pub for the last five days. I told you I quit being a prostitute. I have the keys because I open and close the bar sometimes. Oh ya, Jeff doesn’t want you to come in when I’m working. You forgot I was working there didn’t you? Perfect example of your apathy concerning our relationship.”
” I didn’t forget I’m just unable to recall.”
” Ya I’m sure. I’ve gotta go babe. Don’t go pawning the Television for dope! I bought it so we could watch movies together. And well so do you?”
” Do I what?”
” Do you love me?”
” Did you misplace your keys again? This all started because you couldn’t find your keys. Let’s not go through this again. Yes I love you.”
She gives me a long wet kiss goodbye and sashays out the door.
I entered a Drug Rehabilitation program two days later. Jessica came to visit on Wednesdays and Sundays, but after a month she didn’t come to visit any longer. I never heard from or saw Jessica again. Jeff told me she took off with the apartment manager Harry, Larry, Terry or whatever the fuck his name was. Women always leave me.