He never asks me questions when I feel like answering him.
No. It is always, without fail, at 11 pm, just as Jon Stewart is smiling at me and I am attempting to settle into my nest for my descent into sleep.
So it was Last night. When Terrance bursts into my room, looking closely at the objects on my dresser, like a pig hunting for truffles.
Because I know he wants me to ask him ( and get whatever it is he is looking for FOR him), I stay silent.
Until his rifling through the things I have carefully arranged in the way that I like them has irritated me enough that I am forced to say
"What are you looking for?"
Sometimes I stare at him to express my irritation. Other times, I refuse to stop looking at whatever I am otherwise intently focusing.
"Uh, you know. The thing."
In the day to day life of a marriage this thing that he does makes me insane. This not naming things. This "Thinga-majigy" or "you know the thing" with accompanying gestures and signs.
Of course, three days ago he completely forgot the PIN number for his card and had to come home empty handed from the grocery store, only to endure howls of laughter from me as I pointed out his approaching 50th birthday.
I wait and let him gesticulate awhile.
I know what he wants. I knew when he first came in the room, but there was no way I was getting up to serve him and his rotten memory.
Finally he spits out "Your foot Cream! Where is your foot cream?"
"I don't have foot cream", I say. I still know what he wants, but I am going to make him work for it.
"That coconut foot cream?", he stammers.
"I used the last of that about 2 years ago, Terrance."
He grabs at a tube, thinking he has outwitted me and pulls it closer into his face.
I start to laugh. "That's After Sun Cream. I am not sure that is going to help you in the least."
He sullenly pokes at the myriad of baskets on my bookcase. "You have something in there?"
He pokes. And Stops and waits for me to find the thing he is looking for.....but I don't.
"Are you asking me about the Bag Balm?" My voice is even and light.
He glares, slightly, at me. I point. "It's in there". I gesture in the same way he gestures, round and wide with nothing to indicate anything about direction or location.
He now Pouts. "I Looked in there", he whimpers.
Three year old Terrance has appeared before me. He won't go away until I have supplicated his need.
"Oh for gods sake!", I bluster and throw my quilts to the side to stand up. I make a large and loud show of finding the thing he is asking for, pointing out that "it is where I said it was and why couldn't he recall the name of the thing he wants, I am not a god damn mind reader after all, and ALWAYS at 11 p.m. when I am starting to get sleepy..."
I trail off, handing the bag balm to him.
I climb back into my bed as he stares at the bag balm in his hand.
"Geesh, you didn't have to get so cranky about it", he mutters.
My giggle catches up both by surprise. I can't contain it and it flows out of me until it has become an actual laugh.
"You make me crazy", I say. "Now take your bag balm and your funky cracked feet and get out of my room".
He wanders out to his bedroom.
"Love you" he says to me.