Aren't guys who sit around the house in boxers all day just the cutest?
Neither is this guy.
Neither is this guy.
Those Damn Star Wars Boxers by Alec Cizak
Her husband rolled his lazy ass out of bed five minutes before she left for work. He stepped in front of her, dressed in Star Wars boxers he’d worn the day before, the ones he’d sat around the house in, watching Tom & Jerry cartoons on television.
When she asked if he’d sent off any resumes, he scratched his balls and yawned. “You make my eggs?” he said.
“I got to go.” She tried to snake around him.
“You didn’t make my eggs?”
She imagined jabbing her car keys up his nose and twisting them.
“What possessed you?” He folded his arms, stared her down. He’d seen her father corner her like that once. Tried using it on occasion, as though he were a fraction of the man her father had been.
She pushed around him, nearly shoved him on his ass. She marched to her hatchback, got in, slammed the door, and took off. “Hair of the Dog” played on the radio. Helped, just a bit.
Now, nine hours later, she drove home, negotiated curved suburban streets filled with kids screaming and shouting like little animals.
Her boss had laid into her that morning. Barged into her office just after she’d arrived and pointed to a stack of claims he’d left on her desk the night before; at 5:27, to be exact. Three minutes before her day officially ended. She made salary, not overtime. Who, or what, the hell did he think he was?
“I’m assuming you filed those before you hustled out of here last night, yes?”
Could a manila folder rip a man’s skin open? She imagined slicing the edge of one down her boss’s face, splitting his eyeball along the way.
A boy, maybe twelve, jumped his sparkling, red dirt bike over the edge of the sidewalk, skidded directly in front of her car. She had to slam on her brakes to avoid splintering every bone in the boy’s body. Nearly flew through the windshield. The boy turned his head at a turtle’s pace and sneered at her with an entitled glare men were apparently born with.
Earlier, she’d seen the same expression on the piece of shit at the lunch counter. Her boss had thrown three more stacks of claims on her desk. She’d have to call each client and convince them to settle. Tough enough to put away a dozen in one day. Thirty? Impossible. Instead of going to Margie’s Tavern at noon, she’d ducked into the office canteen and grabbed a turkey sandwich wrapped in plastic. The man ringing out before her asked if she understood how hot she looked in her cream-colored dress. When she showed him her wedding ring, as little as it meant to her anymore, he called her a bitch and then flirted with the teenaged cashier, just to make everyone else in line wait for him.
The boy on the bike didn’t move with any urgency, either. He hoisted his bony butt in the air, directed it at her, and pedaled as slowly as humanly possible.
Yuppie child on a Schwinn? her father would have said. Twenty-five points, easy.
She tapped the horn. It did nothing to motivate the spoiled brat. So, she revved the engine. He showed her his middle finger. Without thinking about it, she gave the car just enough gas to clip the boy and send him and his bike flip-flopping to the curb. A clink, a clank, and the boy held his scraped knee, wailing as though he’d lost a limb. As she drove by the kid, she smiled and waved.
At home, she tossed meat and vegetables into a wok and stir-fried them like a conductor guiding an orchestra through Beethoven’s Ninth.
When her husband woke from his most recent nap, he wandered into the kitchen, still in those damn Star Wars boxers. He glanced at the stove, saw what she’d prepared. “Ain’t it pizza night?” he said.
She tilted the wok, steam curling out as she dumped the meal into a serving bowl. For a pan made of stainless steel, it sure felt light.