I need a drink. A cold drink. Like… a can of Coke Zero. Or iced coffee. I love iced coffee—just black coffee and ice cubes—,a taste I developed in South-East Asia. It’s an acquired taste. My French family simply can’t fathom this cold-coffee business.
For an iced coffee, I need to head to Starbucks, an easy fifteen-minute walk. But right now, I don’t feel like going anywhere.
I’m sure we have Coke.
I close my eyes for a second. I can still picture myself taking the last can from the fridge eight hours ago. Eh, don’t judge, it’s been a hot day.
Meanwhile, this means there are no cans left in the big cold box—unless the hot guy from the Coke commercial delivered some… Nah. This is the real world. If I want a drink, I’m going to have to go downstairs, to the basement, haul the twelve-can pack to the kitchen, fight with the stupid plastic wrapping, take the scissors, open it properly, rinse the scissors (the plastic is dusty), take two or three cans out and place them in the fridge and…
Oh, fuck it.
Stay thirsty, my friend.
Look, I’m not lazy. I was up early this morning. Feng drove Mark to my in-laws for a bit and I vacuumed the entire house, cleaned the kitchen floor, did the dishes, cleaned the fridge and the microwave (fucking Pizza Pop… pizza pops in the microwave, oh yes!), cleaned the wooden floor in the living room, put Mark’s toys away, did two loads of laundry, sorted it out and folded it in our respective closets, cleaned the bathrooms and the shower, wiped all surfaces known to mankind, aired out and…
Oh, and I worked too. I translated a couple of pages for a big project.
Then I charged my phone, my Kindle and the camera.
I sorted out the paper and the plastic (garbage day is Sunday night) and I walked to the supermarket where I shopped and hauled back three plastic bags worth of food (carrots and yogurts turned out to be heavier than I had thought).
Then I made the bed because I washed the sheets during laundry load number one.
And I emptied my bag and sorted it out. I’m not sure why I still had a Happy Meal toy and a billion of paper receipts from stores.
Then I called a client back.
So yeah, I’m sorry but I ain’t getting the Coke cans from the basement. This is the proverbial straw that will break my back.
Why am I sorry? The only person being punished is me.
Damn. I’m still thirsty.
I’m so freaking tired of doing stuff.
Right before Mark, I was getting pretty good at taking care of myself and even taking care of us, “us” being Feng, I and whatever place we were staying in. I was almost nailing adulthood.
With Mark, priorities shifted. “I don’t want to talk now!” I shouted the other night during an argument. “Right now, 50% of my brain is dedicated to Mark’s needs, and 50% is used for work. I’m maxed out!”
While this sounds awfully dramatic, it’s kind of true.
Before Mark, I didn’t quite understand why people were using services and conveniences or paying someone to complete a task for them. Why go to the nearest ATM where you have to pay a user fee when you can use your own bank ATM for free? Why pay someone to do your nails when you can perfectly have fun doing it yourself in front of the TV? Why buy sliced veggies when you can chop them yourself? Why hire a maid service? Why buying frozen meals?
I get it now. At one point, when you’re maxed out, these conveniences become gold and having someone do something, anything, for you is heaven.
I’m pretty down-to-earth and I grew up working class, but right now, I’m dreaming of being treated like royalty. I would love to spend a few nights in a really nice hotel, with bathrooms that are already cleaned and beds that are already made. I want someone to massage my tired feet, to brush my hair gently, to arrange my clothes on a chair. I want to ask for a drink and some food and have it delivered. I want a neck massage.
I want to say “look, I would love to…” and have someone reply “sure, I’m taking care of it right now.”
I want to walk across a room without stepping on firetrucks and police cars.
I want to eat something without having to prep it, cook it, do the dishes and wipe crumbs off the table.
I want to walk barefoot on immaculate floors.
I want someone who understands what I’m saying and who gets it.
Now I sound like Mark. “I want it”.
But oh boy… I really do.