She saw his hands shaking on the wheel as he tried to move them and the car off of the median. Though terribly distressed, she determined to take it a little easier on him. The pedestrian continued to mosey on down the road, apparently unconcerned. Ah, the oblivion of an alcoholic wet brain. "I didn't see him. I was looking off that other way for awhile. He needs to watch where he's going."
[Quietly.] "When you're driving the car, you need to look at the road. Yes, he was jaywalking, but it's a 4-lane highway here on Rummy Row. I'd watched him quite awhile before I realized you were not on the planet with us."
She watched his lower jaw slide forward. She'd noted before that he was not anxious to accept responsibility for much. He chose to pick a little beef with her. She was ready this time. "It's not my fault he was wandering across the highway and his clothes blended right in with everything. You don't need to be such a bitch about it." Uh-oh. She didn't care for the word. She didn't care for the implication that there was something wrong with her, with the pedestrian, and nothing whatsoever wrong with him. "Look, you. You can't see, you can't hear, you pay attention to nothing. You scream around the streets in this red muscle machine, gunning the engine like an adolescent with a perpetual erection and your reaction time is frighteningly slow. Twice you've driven me the wrong way and nearly got us into a head-on collision. I don't want to be killed and I don't want to watch you kill someone else. Freaking pay attention and act your age!" He gave his usual reply: silence, no facial movement. Was his silence a damning reply?
[Zooming along the highway again] "Would you like to go to the casino buffet and get something to eat?" The waves of nausea from the near-miss had not stopped washing over her. "Um, no." "You're awfully thin. You need to eat." "NO! Thank you!" When he dropped her off at her door, she told him: "I'm serious. You act like a wild teen and I'm unwilling to be hurt, maimed or killed."
"I already know I'm not the kind of man you want." She reminded him of something: "I told you on Day 1 that I was not looking for a man, thanks. Not in the way you mean. I told you if you wanted to have a human friend, I may be available for that." He gave his usual reply: silence, no facial movement. Had he heard a word? "Could you make me a sandwich before I leave?"
She had a well-honed skill for dreaming when she did not wish to observe reality. He stabbed at his Sugar-Free Jello, fist-gripping his spoon the way her son had done before he developed fine motor skills (certainly by kindergarten). The noise was incredible, so she tried to breathe deeply, filling her ears with the sounds of good air coming in and going out of her body. She noticed again that he wore well-made clothing, good brands. His sweaters had some heft to them and he bought his things in a size that fit him properly. She remembered an anecdote from family lore, dating back to WWII. It was said that her mother could shop at Saks and come out looking like Minnie Pearl, whereas her sisters could go to Woolworths and step out looking like Lana Turner. This man was clearly of the Saks/Minnie Pearl sect, Polo and Izod and Hilfiger tags flapping from the back of each and every piece of clothing. Salt of the earth. A hell of a guy. "Could I have another Jello?" "Sure."
She felt terribly scattered and wondered, "What the hell am I doing?" She had rejected more than one online lothario in favor of this man, clearly the most ill-suited of the herd of bulls. He was objectionable to her in every way and going downhill from there. Her BFF referred to the man as "time filler" or "time waster", and she couldn't come up with any compelling arguments against that. There wasn't even any sex in it for light relief, as his disability had given him an inability, about which he was very straightforward upon their first meeting. Uh-oh. Was that it? Sex? It was! It's not the hokey-pokey. Sex is what it's all about. She didn't want to deal with that subject. He was the perfect man with whom to align herself. He couldn't engage in that topic. The red muscle car allowed him to remember the days of the perpetual erection. She wanted to get him out of her kitchen. She had learned a great truth about herself. She was a bit of a bitch.