Tag Archives: relationships

Dinner Menu

by Dorian Maffei

                                                                                Appetizers

Heated Eggplant Dip

You have never raised your voice at me1……………………………………………..……………………………….$4

Crispy Rye Crackers with Asiago Crust

I can tell you want to though2…………………………………………………………………………………………….$2

Tossed Garden Salad with Squash

You put your head in your hands when I start to cry3……………………………….……………………………..$7

Assortment of Artisan Cheeses

We both wonder how this will sort itself out4………………………………………………………………………..$7

With a Side of Cracked-Pepper Chips

Add one shattered plate5……………………………………………………..……………………………………………$3

 

                                                                              Main Courses

Salted Codfish in a Bed of Watercress

And now I’m really crying6………………………………………………………….…………………………………….$16

Cioppino

I don’t even remember what we are fighting about anymore7…………………………………………………$21

Triple-Fried Filet of Sole

Fighting about the same thing never helps8…………………………………………………………………………$17

Tender Pork Loin Braised in a Lemon-Lime Vinaigrette

You don’t touch me at all9…………………………………………………………………………………………………$21

Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Am I really like broken batteries to you?10……………………………………………………………………………$15

 

 

Desserts

Apple Turnover Dressed in a Blue Cheese Crumble

You feel bad you said that to me11…………………………………….………………………………………………..$8

Flan Paired with a Mango BBQ Sauce

I want to cry again and I don’t know why12……………………………………………………………………………$8

 

 

1 But instead, when you’re angry, you use your jaw to clamp your teeth together until you have a headache. You are doing it right now. I can see the muscles in your neck clenching and I have to look away.

2 It’s obvious. You tell me to stop being difficult. I’m offended.

3 I say FUCK and you are pacing around the apartment. Goddamnit. Goddamnit. Goddamnit. Your voice drifts down the hall and I know you’re in the living room. I wait a minute before following you and I find you on our salmon-colored couch staring at the magazine you’ve just thrown. I can tell you threw it because the pages are ruffled and it’s laying face down on the floor in an uncomfortable position.

4 We also both know that it will. But right now it’s not sorted out and it sucks.

5 The one I painted for you at Doodlebug for our first Christmas. I remember when you smiled and hugged me when you opened it. We joked at how overpriced Doodlebug is. I admitted it had cost $15 dollars to paint and we both cracked up. Now, you say sorry for breaking the plate. I say I’m sorry too. But I don’t really mean it because I say it in a tone that says otherwise.

6 I’m crying a lot. I leave the living room and go into the bathroom of our apartment to rinse my face with cold water. I think about how my face is puffing up from crying so much so I gently massage the cold water over my eyelids.

7 So I go back into the living room where you are still sitting on the couch. And you say:

8 It’s true. Fighting about the same things over and over again never helps. It’s true. We’ve had this fight before. Just as I feel our rage melting, I try to explain my side again. I watch as your neck muscles tense and your lips bunch up in anger. You take a deep breath and it bothers me. You make me feel like I’m crazy. And the worst part about it is

9 It makes me really sad. I bring this up. That it’s all I want at this point. Just hug me and we can stop fighting. Show me some affection, please. You’re still angry and you tell me I’m like broken batteries.

10 No.

11 You begin to get up off the couch and I turn away because I’m hurt. We are both exhausted. You wrap me in your arms and say sorry and it sounds sincere this time.

12 I’m happy we stopped fighting, but I’m not satisfied either. I ask you if you want to go out to dinner because I don’t feel like cooking. I go reapply my makeup to hide my red swollen eyes. We barely talk in the car ride over and when we do it’s in whispers. When we are seated they bring us menus. You reach for my hand across the table and I try to take my mind off everything.

 

– Dorian Maffei is currently an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz studying creative writing. She’s a reader, writer, and most importantly, a cat aficionado. Her latest project in progress is a collection of short stories with a recurring theme of flowers. Follow her on Twitter at @DorianMaffei. 

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Endings

   

by Jane Eaton Hamilton

 

First, you will fall in love with me. You will enjoy my enthusiasm for sex. I am many things you are not, and you are many things I am not. You will like some of the many things I am, including an author, and you will dislike others, including my age and size. I will like some of the many things you are, including a film buff and articulate, and I will dislike others, including that you are too young and too thin. You will be nonplussed at how strong your emotions are and at first they will scare you; you will not know what to do with them. You will say you’ve never been in love like this before. You will want me to hear this, because it’s important to you. Over time, you will adapt to your feelings, and you will start thinking things that you have not thought about for years. You will have generative thoughts – thoughts about whether a relationship between us might work, and if so, what the particulars would look like, whether there would be a moving in, and if so, would I move in with you, would you move in with me, or would we sell our places and buy a new place and start that way, fresh? I will be having some of the same thoughts, though I will register them as rogue, and say (relentlessly) that we must wait until we’ve known each other longer and weathered some difficulties. I like the happy you! But do I like the ill you, the cranky you, the fed up you, the angry you? If you are poly, you will find yourself surprised to sacrifice your ideals to monogamy, a lesser system. Suddenly, you will want to build me a house. You will find yourself thinking about marriage, about which you may or may not agree. You don’t see why I would crave it, after my divorce, but you will conclude that I do. You will ask me about pets. You will tell me my mattress is horrible. You will be pleased that sex, always terrific, gets better over time as we learn each other’s bodies. You will be terribly sorry I’m sick, and terribly sorry that you could lose me, and this will be a struggle for you, but one you will manage, proudly, to surmount; there is something noble about loving a cripple. You will find your self esteem, always somewhat of an issue, rising, your mood improving. You will tell me that you love me after only a few weeks together, perhaps when you didn’t even plan to do so, during the rise towards orgasm. You will swoon when finally I, somewhat more parsimoniously, say it back to you. I will mean it. You will mean it. There will be a brief flutter, like a heart taking wing behind ribs, when this common love will soar. I will remind you, though, that I cannot commit, other than committing to seeing only you while we discover our relationship. You will not understand this. What does it mean? I don’t know if I want to be your partner, I’ll say. But you are already there! you will say. But I am not, I will repeat. But both of us are hopeful. You will be anxious that you love too much and that this is a pattern for you. Me, I am just trying to be sensible. Alcohol may not be the same thing for me as it is for you. Anxiety may not be the same thing for me as it is for you. Aggressiveness may not be the same thing for me as it is for you. Tender loving care may not be the same thing for me as it is for you. Differences will sprout like bulb snouts from our tender spring skin, which we were too dazzled and too busy in bed to see before. You will start to notice that I am distant, or that I want too much of your time, or that I have a very odd schedule, and that I really prefer my privacy to your company, and I will notice things about you which are also red flags. You are anorexic. You are a thrill seeker. You don’t actually engage politically. You are obsessed with alcohol. You are overly emotional. You are controlling. You have OCD. I won’t know, right away, whether those are behaviours I can or cannot live with long term, but I will be suspecting not. You will start feeling hurt, and jealous. You will watch me very closely on FB. You will wish I’d call more often, or at least set a dependable time for us to talk every day. When I don’t manage to make the kind of contact you want, you will rationalize that I have a lot on my plate. You will also realize that you are more in love with me than I am with you. You will say that I am clearly not ready for a relationship.

Here is what will happen next:

You will break up with me, or I will break up with you.

It really doesn’t matter.

 

Jane Eaton Hamilton is the author of several books. Her poetry collection “Love Will Burst Into a Thousand Shapes” is coming out fall 2014 from Caitlin. She has published in the NY Times, Seventeen magazine, Salon, Numero Cinq, Macleans, Numero Cinq, the Globe and Mail, the Missouri Review, Ms blog, the Alaska Quarterly Review and many other places.

 

 

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