I’m lying on my bed trying to read and my stallion man’s presence could be felt nearby. Not because he is tall and strong and manly, all of which, in my eyes of love, he most definitely is. But rather, because his piss is so loud. Loud. Louder than his yawn (which those who know him, know well and clear it to be loud). Even louder than his voice, which melts into a smooth baritone whenever he croons secrets of love into my lobe but turns on a dime into an obnoxious, aggressive pitch of fury when a business associate is out of line, a deadline he expected met was not or a childhood friend calls him up to reminisce. No, when my man is on the phone the meaning of privacy is gone: everyone in the street, block and neighborhood knows his business. But I digress. So let me return. I’m lying in my bed trying to read.
A good book.
A book to escape the pile of laundry that beckons, the kids’ numerous needs that exhaust; life in general. Escape. A book.
It’s written by Garrison Keiller so automatically just holding the cover makes me laugh.
I am looking forward to this plunge into fantasy.
I am savoring it slowly.
Slowly. Open the crisp pages. Slowly. Here it comes. Here. It. Comes, then…plunk pissssssssss plunk plunk plunk pissssssssssssssssss!
I slam Garrison shut and jump in the air. What’s that? A pipe bursting? Which child has broken what? How much will it cost to get a plumber out here on a lazy Sunday afternoon? And by God it’s raining. They must charge more for raining. And I am ready to zip out my bedroom door to scream the usual: Time out! I’m disappointed in you! You need to make good choices! Don’t blame your (brother/sister)!
These all come out of me as easily as the carbon dioxide I breathe onto my dying houseplants. Like Pavlov’s dogs I am ready and activated into motherly bitch mode, no matter how depleted I may feel: I just can’t help myself.
But as I dash out the door ready to burst out the first of many misguided screams, I notice the burst pipe sound gets farther away from me. Bathroom? Is that noise coming from my bathroom?
I turn and dash back, cursing myself all along the two-second journey for not being more careful. Of what I am not sure but there must be something, something I forgot. A faucet left on. A toilet neglected. Something. Something. Something. I’ve forgotten that my husband is home (those of you that know him know he travels obsessively and occasionally stops by) until I am greeted by his stallionesque backside in the bathroom, standing against the toilet pissing at full force. I gasped because even after all these years of shared bathroom experiences I am still amazed at how damn loud that man can pee.
He turned to me startled and a small proud smile spread over his scruffy face. “Asparagus” he proclaimed in victory. “My pee smells like asparagus,” he clarified to my dismay. He seemed pleased with his achievement and wondered out loud how incredible that after a mere twenty minutes since gobbling my delightful asparagus frittata he was enjoying this particular aroma from his urine. The man’s favorite channel is the Discovery Channel, he read encyclopedias to pass time as a kid, what can I say except that I am not surprised this is how he is complimenting my dinner. I don’t know what I should feel, so, I mix it up a bit: awe, annoyance, astonishment, pride?
“Can you just close the door next time?” I reprimand as a smile spreads over my face as well. He’s his own person, and I love him more for it. Loud piss and all.
Asparagus & Arugula Frittata
(Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook)
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup asparagus, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups coarsely chopped arugula
Beat the eggs, cream, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
Place asparagus in a glass bowl, add 1/2 inch of water,cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain and mix asparagus with breadcrumb and Gruyere.
Melt butter in a flameproof skillet over medium heat. Add arugula and saute for one minute. Lower heat to medium low and pour in the egg mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, until bottom is set and then add asparagus mixture on top.
Place skillet in broiler and cook until frittata is golden, 2 to 3 minutes.