It’s time to go, time for the dark side of the moon. That would be the days spent in our van, on the Interstate between Florida and Michigan. Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio—here we come.
Please understand: “dark side of the moon” is not meant to suggest some unflattering opinion of these states. It just indicates that, like astronauts facing the dark side in actual terms, we will be cut off, a human caesura in the space-time continuum, floating in relative silence as we watch what lies outside our porthole. With the added bonus of not needing to read or write anything.
But first, some house-cleaning.
--I almost peed in my pants.
--No, it’s all right. But when it happens, there’s no preparation, no intro for what’s about to happen. All at once comes this chesty, Robert Goulet-John Raitt broadway voice belting out something. I dropped my toothbrush.
--I’m sorry. I knew what was happening when I heard the choking sounds. You really do get hysterical, you collapse.
--What can I say? I’m brushing my teeth, I hear something, stop. You do it all the time, say something to me while I’m shaving or taking a leak. The noise makes it impossible to hear.
--That’s only when I don’t know you’re in there.
--Yes, well, given the state of my prostate you pretty much know where to find me.
--It’s the way this house is shaped. I can’t hear anything happening in front.
--Brushing my teeth, then I hear Robert Goulet and in the next second understand what’s going on.
--You should be used to it by now.
--No, Barbara. Being married to someone who mimics perfectly the instruments and singing voices of famous performers is not something a person gets used to. All at once Michael Crawford is belting out show stoppers from Phantom. In my own house. I’m facing the mirror, brushing my teeth, listening and looking at a case of rabies.
--I was Swiffering.
--You have to tell me what the song was.
--Oh, just something about “Here I am, Swiffering dog hair, life’s a gift, life’s a barrel o’ monkeys.” Something like that.
--You just make it up? I thought they were actual songs.
--They can be. But certain domestic tasks demand their own lyrics.
--The last time it happened, I almost fell in the tub. You were doing a trombone solo, “Strike up the Band.” Tommy Dorsey, Kay Winding, I… well, never mind. I should keep an expectorant bowl handy.
--You said the soup tureen I bought at the thrift shop was actually a chamber pot. You could use that.
--I’ll keep it under the towel rack.
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