She had never done anything to anger me, not even remotely. At no point did I feel taken advantage of, nor did I feel that I was taking advantage of her. We were comfortable together. I liked the way her head rested on my shoulder. I liked the way her hair smelled. I liked her. All that.
At no point did I feel like we were sparks at the end of a dynamite fuse. Never did I feel like each moment was to be our last. She never made me feel bad about myself nor our situation.
She had never done anything to make me angry those first few weeks. But somehow, lying in bed in the late afternoon sun, a crisis of circumstance overtook me and I couldn’t help myself. That Saturday, I was in a bad mood more than anything. I was pissy. I was probably hungry and ready for a nap. Like a baby.
I lay on my side, body angled slightly at the hip. I don’t even remember what she had done to make me irritated, but it had been minor. Trifling. A penny in a pond. But I pouted and lay there and was sour. She got out of bed and started dressing. It was time to go. Together. I remember that -- we were leaving to do something. But I lay there, like a sack of potatoes, sourpuss look on my face, and she put her clothes on in front of me.
I can’t remember what I was angry about. Hunger? Sleepy? Nakey? It doesn’t matter. At the time, I wasn’t so much mad at her as I was with the whole state of the world. Mainly that the world at that time was making me irritated. Nothing more. Not anything with her. I was unhappy. That was all.
From my dresser she took an ashtray full of cigarette butts and set it on my naked hip. I looked at it and thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing?’
It didn’t take long to cool down after that. I looked at that ashtray sitting on my hip and it made me happy. It made me smile. You don’t expect to see an ashtray on your hip, balancing precariously, ready to tip at the slightest movement. A big mess.
I could let it tip over onto the fabric of my bed or move it to safety. She had put it there, on my hip, but now it was my job to make sure it did not become a mess. She sat down beside me on the bed. I smiled, laughed at how ridiculous I looked wearing nothing but an ashtray. I removed it and handed it to her. She placed it on my nightstand and lay down beside me.