Eight o'clock in the kitchen, I'm pulling out the coffee beans, and Stephen steps in, his mouth full of coconut oil so he can't talk. It's a new ayurvedic treatment called oil pulling that's supposed to pull toxins from your system, and you have to stand there with your mouth full of coconut oil for twenty minutes. Wow.
There in the doorway, he looks at me, then looks across to the counter and makes a big T with one arm straight up and one arm horizontal across the top.
"Time out?" I say.
Shakes his head. Makes the T again. Looks at the counter. There's a tea pot there, and a tea cup with a tea bag hanging out of it, and I finally get it, and I am a genius.
"Tea?" I say.
Nods his head. He makes himself tea every morning, special tea that's made in St. Petersburg and originated in Paris, or maybe it's the other way around.
"Tea!" I say, and start to pull the top off the coffee can.
He shakes his head, bigger, and makes the T again. Looks at the counter.
The tea pot and the tea cup with the tea bag hanging out of it.
"Tea," I say, but only because it's the appropriate response to his hand signals and pointed looks, but then I realize it - if you're making yourself your special French and Russian tea in your tea pot, you don't need a tea bag hanging out of your cup; the tea bag's the way your wife makes her own, more pedestrian tea, from the U. S. of A.
"My tea!" I say.
"Did you make it?" I say.
"Wait, did I make it?" I say.
He shakes his head again, again, but I think this time it's only because he's incredulous. He goes over to the garbage can and spits the coconut oil out, then smacks his mouth and says, "I made it for you."
Whew, I'm glad for that, at least. That's one shred of dignity I've got leftover to me. "This was a pretty good example," I say, "of why it's good for people to be able to clearly..." [forgetting the word] "what do you call that thing? Communicate."
I walk out of the kitchen and go in the back to get on the computer, leaving the forgotten cup of tea behind.
OK, update. Stephen reminds me that after this exchange, I laughed and wanted to comment on how much pleasure we periodically get out of my stupidity, and it came out, "Sometimes, I sure do enjoy my humidity."
A friend in disguise
19 hours ago