Will you come see me / Thursdays and Saturdays / What’ve you got to lose?
It’s only Thursday.
She’s been gone a week and won’t be back until Tuesday.
He’s pretty much had it with the peanut buttered crackers, late night TV he never gets to see except during his bouts of insomnia whenever she travels.
He leaves for work later than usual, his morning routine no longer synchronized with hers: the morning shower readily available, only half a pot of coffee to brew.
At night, after dinner there’s only a single light on in the house, a dim bulb in the pantry to help him find his way to bed.
There’s no sound, no one to sing to.
He counts and counts the days, survives until Saturday when, out of equal parts of boredom and desperation for her return, he decides to stay in bed until noon.
He makes this decision when he wakes up (as usual) at 4:20, but by 6:00 he’s up, loading the pickup for a trip to the recycling center, the landfill, and a quick stop for coffee and a bagel at the bookstore café.
His favorite barista’s flown off to meet her husband in Morocco and, although her replacement is just as pleasant and easy to look at, there’s still only just one smile he can’t wait to see, only one form he’s warm for.
He takes the long way home, as always, but today he adds yet another detour to his itinerary, being in no great hurry to return to his empty home; takes a long and circuitous route and drives it more slowly than needed, knowing that when he arrives there will be only empty rooms and an emptier bed, no one to sleep beside and no reason to stay awake.
Even so, he prefers that solitude to senselessly ambling around in public—which has never interested him anyway—or driving around the countryside listening to the radio, listening to her favorite stations instead of his own, aching for her return.
It’s a sunny day, but it doesn’t even matter.