Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Many Shades of Infidelity

He got off his seat and reached for the trusty black Travelpro in the overhead cabin. His wife was busy straightening her ponytail and reapplying lipstick. “She uses far too much of that stuff”, he thought, “She’s beautiful as she is, why bother”. They headed out and he nodded to the pilot on his way out. “They were so nice to us” he said to his wife, and she smiled and agreed. He liked that, he liked when she agreed with him. She calmly pointed out their bags while he hauled them off to the carts at baggage claim and then into his faithful old Camry in the parking lot. “Do you want me to cook for you?” she asked anxiously once they were in with the windows rolled down to get the two day-old stale air out, driving towards the airport exit.. He looked at her and wondered what to say. That little hideaway town had been all it promised to be weather-wise but it had done little to his palate. Being a staunch vegetarian definitely had its pitfalls and they had ended up eating salads and garden burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was dying for some good old sambhar cooked the way she expertly did, making even the podi from scratch each time. He knew there would be no arguments. But the tired way her eyebrows bunched up made him change his mind and he took a detour so they could go through the Chinese take-out place they did without fail every other week. She waited in the car and fiddled with his new I-Pod. She looked up as he walked towards the car with the identical orders of veggie fried rice and egg rolls in greasy brown bags. She had taken to ordering exactly whatever he ordered and this way, if she couldn’t finish her food, he would happily polish it off. She knew he loved that kind of thoughtfulness about her. “I forgot the hot sauce” he mouthed to her and headed back in again. He was trying to make himself heard above the Chinese cooks barking orders at each other when he heard someone calling his name. “Still can’t do without the pint of Tabasco with each meal hahn?” She looked the same, not a day older, her hair still a little on the wild side, big grin, shiny eyes. There was a time when he thought her hair was the prettiest thing about her, till he found out many, many other pretty things about her. In fact her hair was not the wildest thing about her. He had loved her, worshipped her. He could remember believing that if he could have her he could conquer the world. And had she not loved him too? She had almost said it so many times. Then why had she not ever said it? He had loved her so much and he had hated her as much. “Two pack eenuf?” said the small lady behind the counter. “Give him 5 or 10 maybe?” she laughed before he could answer. Shiny teeth, shiny lips, shiny everything. No makeup, she just shone. Oh why, why couldn’t they have been together, they would have been amazing together. She had blatantly refused, casually dashing his dreams of 5 semesters and more to bits, explaining coldly how different they were, how it wouldn’t have worked, how he needed somebody of a different kind, oh, how she had gone on and on. He remembered her holding a magazine in her hand at that time and questioning irrationally if she had just read those lines from her Cosmopolitan articles and memorized them. He wondered now if she still read that junk. He smiled, of course she did, she read everything on the planet she could lay her hands on, all junk included. “So can I take your smile as a ‘Hello’, and an ‘I’m doing good and how’re you doing yourself?’?” Ouch. Not a time to zone out at all. He smiled again, and did the chit-chat. Nice and smooth. They walked out. “I have cut down on the spice” he said. “I disagree!” she said. “You headed home?” “Nope... Going camping with my boyfriend and his friends, I have to park my car at his place” she said, pausing at the word boyfriend, watching for a reaction. None at all, he had it all in control now. “We just flew in from a weekend trip”, he said “We got good deals”. “But you get good deals all the time now, and don’t you hate the way the airlines suck up to you nowadays?” she rolled her eyes. “They just want your money!” Couldn’t she just agree with him for once? They were close to the parking lot. She walked ahead, tossed her bag over her shoulder and asked “Do I get to meet Lata?” Yes she gets too, because he couldn’t stop it, Lata was stepping out of the car, walking towards them. Lots of smiling and handshaking. “Come visit sometime!” Lata is excited about meeting a graduate school friend of mine. “I would love to!” she promises with raised eyebrows that are a sure-giveaway that she is lying. They are all back in their respective cars. He arched his neck to catch another glimpse of her getting into her Miata while Lata opened the greasy bags to check if the fortune cookies were there. He sighed. He and his faithful wife in the faithful Camry followed the Miata out of the parking lot.

5 Comments:

Blogger FunnyCide said...

Hey Woman!! Looks like you have your space on the web too, now!!

Awesome Awesome.. Looking forward to more from you.. :)

Thanks for the comment from you.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he he

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice.
me likey.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Peeyush said...

Wow! Whats the inspiration for this?

7:24 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

I bumped into an old school friend and his wife..but the similarities with my story end right there! LOL!

Thanks for visiting..

8:48 PM  

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