“Why do you have to bring such chaos into our lives? I feel like everything you do is complicated and noisy.”
“First of all, thank you so much. What a lovely thing to say – that I bring chaos into our lives. Second of all, I bring color into our lives, not chaos, there’s a big difference.”
“Well then you need to tone down the color, maybe add a little beige to it. I just want to live a simple, quiet life.”
“A simple, quiet life? What does that even mean?”
“It means the fire alarm always goes off when you cook. It means when you have your girlfriends over for wine and cheese it turns into an insane eighties dance party and you get mad at me for not joining in. It means you make super random decisions like you’re suddenly going to bake pot brownies, but then you don’t measure properly and the marijuana sends you into a paranoia spiral. A simple, quiet life is the opposite of all that.”
“Wow, okay, well…. The pot brownies were an innocent mistake – you know I’m partially dyslexic, I messed up the numbers. The fire alarm is because I like to try new recipes and sometimes they don’t go exactly as planned. What are we gonna do, eat baked salmon every night? And you should have joined our dance party, we were having fun. Remember fun?”
“You exhaust me.”
“Well you bore me!”
Amy put on her big chunky heeled boots and stomped loudly out of the house. Half an hour later she was back with three bags of groceries. She turned on her Spotify 80’s Hits Mix and started cooking.
“Guess what,” she yelled,
“I’m cooking without a recipe, so get ready for more chaos!”
She took a sip of Pinot Noir and twirled around the kitchen, using the spatula as a microphone to sing along with The Go Go’s:
Can you hear them
They talk about us
Well, that’s no surprise
An hour later:
“Dinner is served – even though I’m still pissed.”
Dave joined her at the table. The kitchen looked like a gang of toddlers had trashed it, but he didn’t say anything. At least the fire alarm hadn’t gone off.
“Tonight’s menu features Thai chicken and coconut rice.”
“Smells good. Thanks for making dinner.”
“This is actually really really good.”
“Take out actually and I’ll happily accept the compliment.”
“This is really really good.”
“Thanks. It love it,” Amy said, taking a giant bite.
“I didn’t mean what I said earlier, or maybe I meant some of it, I don’t know. But I love you. It’s just this fucking pandemic. We’re with each other 24/7, it’s not normal.”
“Preach!” said Amy, raising her glass in the air. “The other day you were so irritating that I was about to hop a plane – Covid be damned – to somewhere sunny where there are cabana boys and umbrella drinks.”
They continued eating in silence.
“Maybe we should take a mini-break,” said Amy.
“But where would we go? The U.S. border is closed. And anyways, I don’t feel safe flying yet.”
“No, I meant take a break from each other.”
“Don’t get upset, just listen for a second. Relationships are suffering in the pandemic and divorce rates are skyrocketing. We don’t have kids, we don’t even have a cat. So why don’t we take advantage of that flexibility and try living ‘together but apart’ for a few months. It’s actually a very popular trend, it started way before the pandemic. Even The New York Times wrote an article on the phenomenon – lots of couples are living separately and they’re really happy.”
Dave wiped his mouth with his napkin.
“No. No way. That sounds like a one-way ticket to divorce.”
“Why don’t you read up on it first before you say no. It has nothing to do with divorcing. You could have more of the simple quiet life that you like and I could be…me.”
“This is just your pandemic stress talking. Let’s keep things as they are, I don’t want to rock the boat.”
“Well maybe the boat needs to be rocked. Maybe the boat needs to be fucking flipped over!” cried Amy.
“This is what I was talking about earlier – everything is always chaotic with you. You’re suggesting a major life change in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s complete insanity.”
“Fine. Do you mind cleaning up?”
Amy went to the living room, took her laptop and googled “Caribbean destinations that Canadians are allowed to visit” and scrolled through the covid rules and regulations. Then she booked a hotel and flight, leaving in one week and staying for two weeks.
Yes, I’ll be on a plane, probably a crowded one. So yes, I’m taking a chance. But our boat needs to be rocked. And I need a cabana boy and an umbrella drink like yesterday.