I am in a pissy mood the rest of the day. All requests are unreasonable, and I am barely able to restrain myself from rolling my eyes. Nobody seems to notice my surliness because I’m adept at hiding my feelings, but I can tell that I’m nearing the end of my patience—not that I have much to begin with. All the little things that normally just irk me or make me laugh are angering me. Someone’s been using my stapler and used the last staple. I watch the director of the agency plunk his feet up on his desk and lean back in his swivel chair. My immediate supervisor is carefully outlining her lips with a delicate shade of pink while looking at herself in her compact. Quinn is mooning around giving me the puppy-dog eyes. Calgon, take me away, please! I want to be anywhere other than where I am.
I cut out fifteen minutes early. I know I’ll have to deal with the consequences on Monday, but I don’t care. It’s Friday, and I’m tired of playing by the rules. I am tempted to stop at the 500 for a drink or perhaps the Lex, but I hurry home instead. I am not in the mood to be in a crowd of drunk people or around people at all. I am in loner mode, which I learned at a young age to honor. There are times when I can be cajoled out of a mood like this, but this is not one of them. The best thing I can do for me and for the rest of humankind is to lock myself in the apartment and barricade the door. I do both accordingly and start cooking. It’s early to be thinking of dinner, but I feel like cooking for once. My feathers are ruffled, and I find cooking soothing. I start the rice cooker, then turn my attention to the chicken. For the next hour, I am absorbed in the land of kitchen utensils, creating a masterpiece. I don’t cook often. One reason is because I’m a perfectionist and hate to see anything done half-assed.
“Hi, honey, I’m home!” Paris slams the front door and tromps into the kitchen to buss me on the cheek. “Something smells good!” I am making Kung Pao Chicken which is one thing I make really well. It’s also one of Paris’s favorite Chinese dishes.
“It’ll be ready in ten minutes,” I say gaily, ignoring the fact that it’s not even five yet—much too early to eat.
“Sorry I can’t stay,” Paris says apologetically, snitching a piece of chicken from the skillet. I smack the back of his hand with the spatula—fortunately, not hot. “Lyle and I are going out to dinner tonight.” He smiles involuntarily, as he does whenever he mentions Lyle’s name.