We were fighting over chicken – whether we should just bread it and bake. Cut it up into a stirfry with some vegetables. I’m fine with either. He can’t make up his mind. It’s a pointless discussion, fruitless. I’ve made a cheesecake that’s been sitting in the freezer for afterwards. I’m not sure if I should laugh at the preposterous nature of the situation or slap him across the face with a bit of chicken breast or thigh. We couldn’t decide whose night it was to make the dinner. I said I’d do it, but no, he says he wants to make the effort too. He gives me that look and says he can do it too.
The chicken’s going off tonight – so we have to use it up. I’ve opened a glass of red and poured myself a glass. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I crack an egg into a bowl and whisk it with a fork. What am I doing? I take the packet of breadcrumbs out from the cupboard. He looks at me, says we cannot possibly bread it and that we need to use up these vegetables too – he’s right. Of course he is. Unless we have the vegetables on the side of the dish.
I start clearing things away again. There’s a collection of things in my hand. I rush back to the countertop – hoping to save everything, but something slips, something slides, something smashes.
The wine glass. He comes rushing forward. It smashes into a few big pieces and he steps on it. He hasn’t got his slippers on. Barefoot in his dressing gown as always. Oh dear. Red wine and blood and pieces of raw chicken. Everything’s mixing in creating a paste.
I tell him to sit down, put his foot on the stool. Just relax. Breathe and relax. Before I can stop him he’s pulling the shard out of the base of his foot. I can’t watch, but I watch paralysed. Suddenly I’m throwing tea towels around the kitchen floor – all my white tea towels. I wrap a few of the tea towels round his foot. Pretty angry. Pretty sore, he says. He grunts and grimaces.
He’s stomping around in pain, and I pour myself another glass of wine.
I ask if he wants one. He can get it himself. I sit on the stool – looking at the mess.
He aches and pains, but manages to pour himself some wine.
No, we said we’d cook. We‘d cook together – that that would be our thing.
He sits back down in the seat. We sip wine and sigh. I’m going to have to tidy this up. I don’t know where to start. He’s still smiling. Giving me that look.
Finally we do start laughing. Arguing over chicken.