Leathery Days 

Vertigo has freed me, so I went to an art show Friday night… beautiful paintings, collages, and prints in a cool space on the 3rd floor of the Knox building in downtown Youngstown.

So much for pulling my own Arnold… can’t walk out the door with a kiss and an “I’ll be back” when the vet would have already left… since he told me on Thursday that he was going to go visit an old friend on Friday, I told him that I was going to the art show. He had seen that I had clicked interested on Facebook.

Before he left on Friday morning, he gave me the charger gadget to take with me in case my phone battery died and I agreed to text to let him know that I got home okay. That told me that he probably wouldn’t wander in before midnight… there was no mention of what time he’d come home. After three Arnolds in two weeks went incommunicato until the next day, I set an unspoken 72 hour rule.

It was a good night out… I was only gone a couple hours because I didn’t feel like hitting the bars or anything by myself. I had asked my daughter if she wanted to go… she said no, but offered a ride.

As soon as I got in the car, my granddaughter said, “Grandma, he’s cheating on you. I can tell. Grown men don’t have sleepovers.”

Apparently, she had overheard  mommy talking to daddy about my Arnold plans as my daughter sure was quick trying to hush her up, giving a reprimand to stay out of grown folks’ business.  I ignored the mama’s interjections and had an interesting conversation about sex, trust, and cheating with a soon-to-be nine year old.

A part of me wanted to, but didn’t say, “That’s right, honey, grown ass men don’t have sleepovers unless they’re too fucked up to come home.”

Is he cheating on me?

Odds are no… there’s something else going on, something he is hiding from me. I’m not completely stupid… connect the dots, behaviors hint of rocks.

I had a new leather project started before he wandered in ye around noon on Saturday, greeted me with a kiss and headed to bed without a word about anything. That’s alright… I’m not his mother.

I went in, curled up beside him. He flipped on a football game and asked about Thursday’s leftovers, so I got up, went to the kitchen to cook rice and warm up the pork with Chinese veggies. When it was done, I stuck my head in the door and told him it was ready. He can make his own plate.  I’m not his mother.

We never fight. At the first hint of disagreement, he will avoid conversation. He refuses to argue with me to the point where we can’t even have a heated discussion about anything.

Oh, he can harbor emotions and pull little passive-aggressive bullshit, like flipping the TV to blood and guts horror with the sound jacked way up when I’m just drifting off to sleep. He knows that I hate slasher movies.  Oh well… fair exchange is no robbery so let me just smack this Tandy stamp with a leather hammer as you try to sleep off whatever the fuck it is that you don’t want me to know that you’re doing.

I tap tap tapped like a mad shoemaker all afternoon. He was out cold, totally oblivious.

Yes, I started with 1-1/2 precut checkbook cover kits, had some leftover from years ago, may as well use the leather. The end result will be a notebook with art paper pages.

I made a lot of mistakes, screwed up the alignment of the basket weaves, stamped too hard in places… blame a combo of repressed anger and poor eyesight… I’m blind in one eye from that little stroke last year and can barely see out of the other, especially when I wear my glasses on my head like a headband to hold back my hair. It don’t matter… it’s for me, doesn’t have to be perfect.

This doesn’t have to be perfect… just hold me tight, tell me it will be alright.

There is a part of me that doesn’t want to know.  I want to live in the margin of error, where I don’t know for sure exactly what he tries to hide from me. I’ve long suspected that he has his own private war with something. It’s not often… not every time either. Knowing will change the dynamics of everything, so maybe it is best to not know.

Time will reveal all that is hidden, just as stain highlights my flaws.

Thanks for reading.

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One thought on “Leathery Days 

  1. Flaws? What flaws? My favorite art professor told me, “You can do it (art) different, but you can’t do it (art) wrong.” Your leather work is gorgeous, dear sister. And as far a the man goes: use that eyesight problem to not see his faults. It’s not like you two are in your 20s.

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