Yes, I think it may be true that relationships often feed off of drama. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I hated those foreign films we used to watch more than anything in the world.
She didn’t even know how to speak Italian. I think she just really liked the way Anita Eckberg danced around and jumped into the Trevi fountain and was all “spontaneous and impulsive life.” I secretly think she wanted to look like her.
I’d feel kind of bad, though, when I would lash out at her for something stupid like that—saying she just wanted to look like the blond bitches who dripped from Fellini’s salivating mouth. And then she would come over crying with a homemade apple pie and I felt bad again at the sort of reverse-like effect since it should have been me, the bastard, who should make her such a thing. I’d hug her then, of course. And then she’d give me all these cheek kisses. It’s like we rehearsed it.
The way she would yell at the top of her lungs at the bar over the music and I still could never hear her–
“I LIKE THIS BAND!”
–although sometimes, I could, I just thought it was pretty hot to pretend like I didn’t. She’d find out and get mad and sock me in the arm or something. But I knew she wasn’t really that mad. She was kind of charmed, I think. That sock was a kind of token of her affection.
But I hated the way she’d argue with her mom over the phone at goddamn three in the morning with the bathroom door all cracked open ever so slightly. Like I couldn’t hear. It was worse than one of those ocean sound machines that would try and make you sleep. She’d cry and argue and
she would argue with the gas station guy about the gas prices—as if he had any say in it–
she’d argue with herself over getting parking tickets like the “self” she was arguing with was someone else–
there were also the most trivial things, like a very indecent dollop of whip cream on top of her coffee frappe or whatever…
she’d also give me those asinine self-help or spiritual new-agey Oprah shit books that supposedly helped her “find her center” or something and she thought I needed it since I would get too angry or emotional or bitter or talk about how I was a waste of time. I’m sure if there was one thing that was a waste of time it was those goddamn books.
[Then she looks over at me for silent pause and doesn’t say anything. We stop. I smile for a second.]