Or, An Email to My Husband Who Flew to Fucking Oakland to Play in a Band that Isn’t His
BY GWEN WERNER
You’re gone, which is fine. After I dropped you at the airport on Sunday I went home. I felt pretty proud of myself for hanging up all of those fancy prints and artwork we’ve collected over the past few years. It sorta felt like I was my mom up there, standing on your recliner with a hammer. I had chicken in the crockpot. It was nice.
Things pretty much went downhill from the artwork hanging, so I’ll cut to the part where I disinfected our walls and light switches this afternoon, which is completely not because I’m frantically trying to overcompensate for the past three years of band and book tours you’ve gone on without me, tours where you got home to find me crying and drunk and high in piles of rotting garbage, which we both know isn’t even close to an exaggeration.
It’s fine that today I came home to four boxes of cleaning supplies and organizational containers, even though I put those items on my credit card, the credit card I owe seven hundred dollars on, but the stuff was mostly necessary. Like, we’ve lived in this apartment for over two years and we still don’t have a toilet paper holder? I think about the number of people who have used our bathroom and had to grab toilet paper with their big, dirty mitts off of makeup pallets or piles of laundry, and I hate myself, you know?
I’ve been trimming my bangs on and off for the past three hours. I paid off part of my credit card yesterday and I don’t have enough money in my savings to pay for a bang trim and the thing is, my bangs look even until I shake my head and shit gets all out of control. And FUCK curved bangs, honestly. Those motherfuckers should be in a straight line because it’s too hard to get all curvy and creative.
All of this to say, I am stomping on a waterlogged towel in our bathtub like those guys in the Ocean Spray cranberry juice commercials, except I’m naked and high on Lysol fumes because I dumped Lysol on the ground and sponged it around with the hair and lint and dust I forgot to sweep up first. Then I dumped Tupperware containers of water on the Lysol because it seemed like a bit much.
But then it was really wet, so started sopping it up with towels, then the towels were too wet, but they were so heavy and dripping, I couldn’t just throw them in the laundry and get new dry towels from the closet, so I decided to stomp on them in the tub. I’ve been sopping up water with the towels, then stomping on them in the bathtub over and over again for approximately forty-five minutes. By the way, our bathroom definitely is on a slant. There was essentially a swimming pool for mice in the corner behind the sink, like, if mice swam in Lysol, or if we had mice. BUT WHATEVER, IT’S ON A SLANT LIKE I FUCKING EXPECTED.
I decided to scrub the bathroom today because I want you to come home to an impeccably clean house in eight days. I was going to try to make it seem really nonchalant, have you come home, look around, remember how much you love and appreciate your wife, lose a memory of one of the times I came home high on cocaine and woke you up to talk about having a baby, but honestly, this isn’t a nonchalant endeavor at all, and I’ve been cleaning and listening to audiobooks since you left. I’ve clocked 13 hours of audiobooks. So. There’s. That.
And honestly, it’s a good thing we don’t have a baby probably. Because I’m covered in all kinds of chemicals, and so is our apartment, and our kid probably would be too right now. Also, I think I’d be a terrible mother. I’d get sad and blame things on the baby and then feel guilty about that, or I’d be upset that the baby liked you more than me, because of course it would, and then I’d hate you and it and I’d do something horrible, like try to drive my car into the Mississippi, or tell the baby I hate it while it’s sleeping. Or I’d be a great mom, I don’t know.
The bathroom is clean and I’ve given myself a rule that I can’t brush my hair in there until you get home in eight days so I don’t have to sweep the floor before you get back. I’ll probably put it in a ponytail every time I have to pee, just to be safe. Also, I’m only going to throw things away in the kitchen, so I can just grab the bag of trash on the way out the door to pick you up.
I love you.
Gwen Werner is a cry-baby and sorority dropout from Iowa. She is the founding editor of Moonsick Magazine, and the author of the forthcoming chapbook "I'm Ruining My Own Life" and the short story collection Kill Us On The Way Home (Passenger Side Books). If you give a goddamn, you can find her here.