The curtains look like some Dali painting; waves of blue pulled over a sleepy sunrise. Turning my head this way and that, they appear like the roiling tides–frothing with foam (or off-white synthetic lace.)
I don’t want to leave my bed.
I make up a story about a warrior leaving home. I have left home. I am that warrior. The curtains rock my ship. A mast above me splinters into a thousand pieces and comes crashing down like timber. The swollen wood chunks would have blinded me had I not already been ducking my head for the rain and the brine.
The smell of blackpowder fills the air. There is another explosion, and the light blinds me for a brief moment. I gasp and suck in water. Coughing, I only just recover. Then, I look up to see a dreadful sight on the horizon: a black flag. And below it, a sinister-looking vessel.
My blankets are jerked away with a ferocious quickness that nearly stops my heart as cold at the sudden exposure. “Morning…” The greeting squeezes up and out from somewhere beneath the resentment.
He dashes my blanket to the ground with the finesse of a bull fighter. He crosses his arms, just the same. “Pirates again?”
“We need new curtains,” I tell him. My mind still hasn’t returned from the sea. I can still faintly smell the cannon fire and taste the brine. I am that warrior. I have left home.
“You need a different comparison,” he says thoughtfully, riffling through my dresser for smalls. He smells like hard soap and pine. He reminds me of the mountains that I miss. He’s never been to the north. He grew up on the flatlands and in the swamps. “How about… They look like curtains.” He chuckles.
I roll my eyes at him. He passes clothing to me and I unwillingly get dressed. “Waves are appropriate. They’re blue.”
“If they were red, would it be lava?” he wonders, pulling shoes on.
“Mm,” I say. “Lava… Hawaii, then. Better than pirates. More rum, less cannon fire. What time is it?”
“We’re not going to get rum,” he says with a laugh, cutting me to the quick.
“New curtains then. Brown?”
“Shit. Waves of shit on the windows,” he replies.
“What about a pattern then?” I suggest.
“Pasleys? Pastel pasleys?” He picks up my blanket and smooths it back over the queen.
I retreat to the bathroom, calling over my shoulder, “Like salmon? Salmon pasleys?” I make a gagging noise.
“Ugh, I’m hungry,” he says. “Salmon sounds good…”
I grimace. “For curtains?” I say through toothpaste.
“For food! Rum and brown sugar marinade over the top, crystallizing. Oh God…” He shudders and I laugh.
“So…” I begin, putting my hair up. “Rum?”
The product of a union between a dismissive snort and a gasp of revelation shoots out from behind his teeth. He lifts a hand to say no, but then he barks a laugh. “It’s noon, by the way,” he says. “We’re only getting some to cook with though.”
I step out of the bathroom, slipping into sandles. “In that case, I’ll grab the fixings for long islands too.” I kiss him on the cheek on the way out of the room.
“No, you won’t,” he says to me with his eyes on the heavens, silently begging.
“Until we get new curtains, it doesn’t seem we have a choice,” I say suggestively.
When I look back at him, he’s squinting at me. “Spiced rum. Burgundy curtains.”
“Yum,” I declare. “More of an excuse!” I grab his hand and we start for the front door.
Outside, fitting his key into the deadbolt, he pauses for a moment, a notion striking him slow. “Rum curtains make an ocean of rum… Good God. Super pirates!”
“Severely drunk pirates,” I say with wide eyes. “Drunk fish!”
“Rum tributaries! Rum rivers!” He starts shaking his head, laughing politely. Then, as he pulls his key from the door, his eyes narrow in discovery. He looks to me with growing excitement. “Pre-rum-ified salmon!”
“Just add brown sugar; bake at 350 for 26 minutes!” I bark between fits of laughter, grabbing my his arm as we carelessly waltz to the car.
I am that warrior that has left home. I don’t plan to return.