Later that night, my husband tells me he doesn't know what to do with the leftover casserole. I muted the Country Music Fest on TV and say, "Put it in a Tupperware." He just sits there, then asks, "What is a Tupperware?" I answer, "You know that round thing with the tan top that you put on the clothes dryer because you thought it wasn't ours?"
"Yes," he says, "the plastic thing." I tell him, "That is a Tupperware and it is ours. Put what's left of the casserole in that." He gets up to leave reluctantly and I add, "We have a lot more in the Tupperware closet, different colors and shapes, if you want." I unmute the TV in time to hear Kid Rock and some other band, the show coming to a close. I'm worried about his Tupperware remark and find him downstairs in the kitchen, standing at the counter looking at the casserole and the Tupperware.
I ask him, "What's the problem?" He says, "I don't know what to do next. And something is missing." I give him a sideways hug and say, "Unless you want to use your magic powers, you'll need a large spoon to transfer the leftovers into the Tupperware. And you're right; something is missing, the top to the Tupperware."
He says, "It's a good thing you know what to do. But where is the top?" I'm rummaging in the fridge for an apple, "Probably on top of the dryer." He looks surprised but goes into the next room and comes back smiling. "How did you know that?" Cutting up the apple into slices, I say, "Lucky guess," feeling neither lucky or unlucky.
We said we'd walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we're walking a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me
The following morning, I wake up as downcast as the weather is not. For him not to remember what a Tupperware was, you would need to know how much we have (actually two closets), that he is forever organizing it all, and his first wife sold Tupperware over forty years ago.
I called my daughter at work and she suggested I go out for a walk, which I did. Between the blustery wind, blue skies, children playing hide and seek in Spanish, and people working in their yards, I mentally relaxed. Forty minutes later, I came home, sweaty and thirsty. Grabbed a plastic cup of ice water and went upstairs to get my glasses so I could go grocery shopping. As I came back down the stairs, I had a wave of vertigo and three steps from the floor, I fell, scattering ice cubes and water, both ankles bending in ways ankles shouldn't. Numb at first, then skyrocketing pain as my husband came over, asking various things, which I couldn't answer.
We swore we'd travel darlin' side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride
But each lover's steps fall so differently
But I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me
Breathing through the pain and still on the floor, I was certain I vacuumed before we left for vacation. Where did all the dust come from? Whatever my husband's last question was, I said, "Get a towel and dry the floor." I crawled a few feet to the sofa, shaking and thinking, Fuck, not going to the ER, not going to the ER. I texted my sons, who arrived from the back of the house. Younger son, former lifeguard with first aid experience, asked a few questions and said, "You're on the edge of shock. Put on a blanket and elevate your feet." Older son brought me hot tea and two ibuprofen. I asked for a bag of frozen vegetables, a towel, and more ice in a Ziploc bag.
Twenty minutes later I was feeling a lot better, as long as I didn't move my left foot. My husband came in and said he would do whatever needed to be done. I told him everything would be fine, that I'd get the guys to buy groceries and make dinner. He seemed like his old self, so I asked, "Do you remember not knowing what a Tupperware was last night?" He hesitated and sat down. Slowly he said yes, but what had bothered him more was that he thought I wanted to hold a Tupperware party in my pajamas. We both laughed, then he was gone for six or seven hours, somewhere in the house.
Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let's make our steps clear that the other may see
And I'll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me
selected lyrics from If I Should Fall Behind from Lucky Town © 1992 by Bruce Springsteen