"Oh," he says. "When you get home, there's ..."
And he stops. He realizes he's accidentally used a gooey delicious voice. The kind that you use for treats or surprises. He can tell my ears are perked up, I'm mid-beam.
"Oh no. Don't get excited," he tries to tamp it down.
But he started on such a high. It has to at least be good mail. He knows he started that sentence wrong and now it's too late. You can't take back that warm voice, so full of promise.
"I mean, seriously," he says. "It's not ..."
I'm still at half-grin, right. I don't require a lot. Maybe the New Yorker came. I can live with that. I'm actually having an entire conversation in my head about how easy I am to cheer. A carrot shaped like a pair of legs, a long lost mixtape filled with Garth Brooks. It's cool. You can't disappoint me. There's something at home and it's waiting for me and. I even imagine our kitchen table. This thing that will occupy this space.
He takes a deep breath.
"There are clothes in the washing machine," he said. "Can you put them in the dryer?"
Oh, we laugh. I make fan fiction about him realizing my expectations were at, oh maybe Level 4 and wet clothes are, oh maybe, level -2. So I drop him back at work, I imagine him running through the building and sliding into his car. He takes backroads. Dust flies. At points he's on 2 wheels.
He has 8 minutes to find something to put on that kitchen table. Something that isn't an appliance filled with wet sports bras.
He hands me a bag of Funyuns. Or,
A rose from the Super America. Or,
The contents of his pockets: $13.17 and a cough drop.