IMG_8512When he was fun he was the funnest fun in fun town.  His smile was magnetic and my heart was a metal shoehorn, the pull was not optional.   We loved passionately, the way only the young can physically withstand, and as newlyweds the future held only the bright excitement of happiness because we hadn’t yet lived long enough to know about the many, many, many other options.

He snatched the remote and I pounced on him, tickling his ribs through his tee shirt as we wrestled. He held his hand out of my reach, chuckling as I climbed over his head and off the back of the couch to get at it.
“You would break my arm just to change the channel?” he said, feigning incredulity as I sat back down, smiling in victory.

This was common, the competition, the sparring. He challenged everything, and he liked that I could take what he could dish out. He was tough, but I was tougher. It was our thing.

He grabbed a towel and headed down the hallway, stopping suddenly to wrap it in his hand and snap it at my head in quick, sharp, jabs. I jumped up, laughing and running around the couch a few times before he caught me, putting his hands around my waist and hugging me tight. I could see his mother watching us from the kitchen, a little smile on her face.  We were visiting his parent’s house for the first time since we got married, and I hoped that she was happy with his choice in me, happy for us.

He walked to the bathroom, and I heard the shower turn on.  Drunk with mirth I crept over to the door, reached in, and flushed the toilet, dropping the water temperature to zero instantly. Funny, right?

“YOU F***** C***!” came a voice devoid of all humor, and all humanity, in a ground shaking bark. I guessed that our definitions of the word “funny” might vary.
“I’M GONNA F*** YOU UP YOU STUPID B****!” The last two words were punctuated by crashing thuds that made me jump and look nervously over to his mother, who was staring intently down at the plate she was slowly washing in the sink.  I realized he was punching the wall as he had done before at home, sheepishly covering the broken plaster with pictures later, complaining about the cheap construction of the apartment.
“GODDAMN IT YOU ARE A STUPID ASS****!” he continued, shrieking now, and I knew I had to leave the house until he calmed down and his mood flipped, as inexplicably as it had the first time. I was too nervous around him when he was like this, and I couldn’t think. I grabbed my jacket and keys and headed to the door.
His mother turned slightly towards me as I passed.
“You shouldn’t make him mad” she said flatly, never taking her eyes off the dirty dishes.

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