Family Life, Fiction

Episode 44 – Spy Belt

“I have so much material for my book today I think I could write for eight hours.”

“Go ahead. Do it. Do you want to go to your office to write?”

“No, I’m actually not feeling well.”

By office, Denny means my studio. I find I’m not using it. I’ll probably give it up when my lease expires in the fall.

“Then write here. It’s not every day that you have that kind of inspiration, so just do it. We don’t have anything planned.”

This morning when I got up I discovered I still had on my shirt, pants, belt, scarf, socks, and my jean jacket and outer jacket. I hadn’t removed my make-up before I went to bed either.

That’s how I fell asleep. I never stirred all night and I slept until it was light, 7:45.

Denny brings his plate of breakfast into the living room. He’s already given me mine.

“Eat Rosie, you’ve got to eat.”

“Yeah. Thank you Lord for this food.”

“Thank you, Lord, for this food, and that you feed us every day. It’s such a miracle. For fifty years you’ve made sure that we’ve had food. It’s so amazing.”

I am amazed at Denny’s prayer. It’s about the longest prayer I’ve ever heard him pray.

Denny trained me early on in our marriage to pray short prayers. I thought we would have nightly prayers together, but after a few nights I noticed Denny wasn’t on board. My prayers were too inclusive. It wasn’t going to work. So we stopped.

“I won,” Denny announces. His plate is empty.

“I didn’t know this was a race.”

He laughs as he gets up and heads to the kitchen and pours himself some soda water. There are many variations of club soda, I learned from Denny. He buys the one with the least sodium.

I’m feeling strange as I return to the living room from the bathroom where I spent some time, “My legs feel shaky.”

Denny’s gazes at my legs. He smiles a little but doesn’t say anything.

“Is one for you, and one for me?” He points to the two small boxes of Valentine’s chocolates on the buffet.

“Yes.” I bought one for each family member, including. Valentine’s is this week.

“You know the grilled tomatoes were really red Valentine’s hearts,” Denny tells me of the grilled tomatoes he served with our breakfast.

“They looked round to me.”

“But they were hearts.”

“Were the potatoes and green peppers hearts too?”

“No, they weren’t,” there is amusement in Denny’s voice. I’m stretching things a bit far.

I love grilled tomatoes. Denny knows that.

Denny sits down now, having finished his chocolates. He puts his computer his on his lap and opens it.

“Apparently Mountain Equipment Co-op has that spy belt for sale,” he says a few minutes later.

“Where is that?”

“It’s in Langley.”

Denny got his new phone this week. But his gym pants don’t have a pocket, so he is checking out a spy belt.

I see he is measuring his phone now, “Plenty of room for the phone.”

He come over to me with his laptop and shows me the spy belt, “Large. Unisex,” I read.

“It’s bigger than yours. Yours the zipper wasn’t even long enough.”

Denny has been eyeing my spy belt. It is a stretchable belt with a zippered compartment that can hold keys and a cell phone. My phone is a lot smaller than his new one.

“Is the zipper metal or is it plastic?” He wants to know.

“I don’t know. Check mine out.”

“I don’t know where yours is.”

I sigh, I have so little energy today, “I’ll get it for you.”

I go to the drawer where I told him it was earlier. I bring it to him.

“It was in the drawer where I told you it would be.”

Denny didn’t find it earlier. He looked in the wrong drawer, he explains to me.

“I could barely fit my phone in there,” Denny has put the phone into my spy belt. “That’s too awkward.”

“Why is that too awkward?”

“Because I take my phone in and out all the time.”

Denny is standing up now and looking at his reflection in the TV screen as he’s wearing my spy belt. He takes the belt off. Looks at it.

“You don’t have any fanny packs do you?”

“Yes I do.” I go to the bedroom and pull one out of the same drawer. I bring it to him, “It’s the nicest fanny pack I’ve ever found. That’s why I bought it.”

“Do you ever use it?”

“Not really. Just once in awhile when I go hiking.”

I sit down and continue typing. I hear the snap of the belt ends coming together. Out of my peripheral vision I see him adjusts it, slide it around to the side. He zips it open and puts his phone in it.

“Where did you find this?”

“I found it at…” I’m getting ready to tell Denny the story I remember quite clearly of where I bought it, but he interrupts me.

“This might be the perfect thing. ‘Cause I take my phone out all the time. See, like this,” he shows me by putting it in and taking it out.

“Can I use it?”

“Sure, sure.”

“Solved my problem.”

I head for the bathroom, when I return Denny asks me if he can sit on the can for a little while now. “Yeah, sure, sure. You gotta do what you gotta do.”

I ate the wrong thing yesterday. Too much grease. A & W onion rings.

Last night, on our way home, as we were approaching the border, I told Denny we weren’t bringing anything back, not even the food I ate. I was sick.

“Awww,” he glanced sympathetically at me in the car.

Denny felt for me. When I said I was cold, he even turned up the car heat and didn’t turn it down again a couple minutes later, like he usually does. I had brought a blanket for myself to use in the car but I was still cold.

I can’t afford to get sick like this anymore. It takes too much out of me.

Denny is at the door, smiling now. He waves before he leaves for the gym, with my fanny pack.


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