By: Josh Borders
Hometown: Kaufman, TX
You were sitting there on the couch, still wearing that beat-up gray t-shirt from a team-building exercise you did at work however many years ago, watching “The Bachelor,” when I asked, How are you? and you didn’t really answer but just sort of sank deeper into the couch, clutching that decorative pillow with the golden piping a little more tightly. And then I, and I know I keep doing this, I always do this, and it’s not like I want to but I still do, I turned it back to myself and said, I had a good dinner, and I saw the plastic salad carton you ate for dinner on the coffee table, stray bits of wilting and slimy arugula stuck to its sides. And you still didn’t look at me, so I kept talking, and I said, We went to this Italian place off Pulaski and 4th, and the chicken parm was ex-quis-ite, drawing out the syllables. And on the TV one of the contestants was sitting on a garish teal couch with the Bachelor himself, and she was doing her best to get his attention, to get him to remember her in the brief time she had before another potential suitor snatched him away, and she was saying, There is so much to me that doesn’t meet the eye, and he was sitting there meeting her eyes and he flashed a vacant smile and said, I can tell, and the woman continued, I will say and do things that will surprise you for the rest of your life, and isn’t that what you want in a wife? and you were there with the pillow against your body, and I was there standing in the doorway, and we were at once together and apart.