He thought it was going to be a typical Saturday. He arose from the couch at 5 am, still wearing his jeans, belt, and sweater from the night before. The dog, who had been serving as his blanket, stood by the door waiting for his master to let him out so he could bark at the moon. The fat gray cat, that had been serving as his scarf, meowed incessantly, circling about his feet, making him stumble and curse under his breath. He grabbed a diet coke, fed the cats, and fell back onto the couch in hopes to catch a few more moments of sleep. Until a small shadow made its way down the hallway toward him and launched her body on him. The sun had yet to rise and he was awake for the day.
As the hours passed he went through the motions of the day, just like any other weekend day. He wrote checks. He checked email. He emptied the trash. He referreed fights between the kids. If he was lucky, he'd be able to sneak out to the dump, take the long way home, and get some peace and quiet. He was just about to slip on his boots and be on his way when he heard her enter his office. His heart quickened and his breath shortened, his palms, sweaty. Feeling anger in the pit of his stomach he turned the corner and entered the room. His eyes darted around and landed on her, hunched over on the ground, sifting through a stack of papers. She was talking to him, her voice high pitched and irritating. Without saying a word to her he lurched to the ground and grabbed the papers. She reached out, trying to stop him, wrapping her hand on his wrist. He jerked away from her, feeling of violation building as he grasped the situation. She threw open his desk drawer and rifled through its contents. A half eaten bag of sunflower seeds, a stack of business cards, several post-it notes, a button, an old shoe lace, a bottle opener- all of these momentos, memories, moments. All of these-his.
Like a slow motion bad dream, he watched her systematically take everything out of every drawer and every box, yapping about organization. The children, arguing in the hallway, sounded muffled and far away, as though he was under water. She looked at him, tried to smile while man-handling his papers. Was that his high school graduation tassle she had in her hand? A Hans Solo piggy bank in the other? He couldn't keep up with her ripping through his belongings. He snatched the piggy bank away from her and she put her hand on his shoulder and smiled again saying something about color coordinated wicker bins she saw at Target. Was she mocking him? Was this a cruel joke? He shrugged her off. As quickly as he could he ran through the house, placing items under the bed, in his night stand, tucked into the back of a drawer in the kitchen. She became angry with him, shouting that she'd find what he was hiding and would put it in a box and store it in the garage. The garage! How dare she take away his things and store them away from him? Why did it matter that he wanted to keep a few things close by? What harm was it causing? Who was he hurting and why was she was now hurting him and controling him?
He had to stop her. He would go to the hardware store and buy a padlock. He watched her get a trash bag from the kitchen. "Was she going to throw his stuff away?" He raged at her, following her down the hallway, and past the office to the bathroom. "I'm done, " she stated emphatically. She took the full bag out of the basket, stuffed the new bag in, and marched past him and the office, closing its door as she passed by. "I'm done" she said again, this time softer. She tried to smile at him, uncertain about whether she had pushed him too far this time.
Knowing she was done, he finally put on his boots and slammed the door, and the chaos, behind him. In the cold quiet of his truck, he put his head in his hands and let his pulse ease. He thought it was going to be a typical Saturday. He drove slowly toward the dump, and as he was about to break and put on his blinker, when he decided against it. The bags in the back, filled with old broken toys and magazines for recycle, could wait another week before being let go. Better yet, maybe he'd bring them back to the garage. He was sure he could fix the toys and make them like new again and surely he'd find the time to read those magazines before throwing them away. Maybe this Saturday was going to turn out alright after all.