The Scarlett Letter

March 16, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (FINALE)

Filed under: Uncategorized — missscarlett19 @ 12:18 pm
Tags: , , , ,

When we last left our beautiful and highly intelligent heroine, she was enduring the evil John’s wrath with the lure of fabulous shopping the following day. Will she survive this two-faced monster? What will become of her?


It’s Friday morning. John gets up at about 5:30am. The only reason I know it’s that time is because he turns on the TV to the local 24-hour news station and I hear the familiar baritone voice of the moustached anchor from my days working early mornings at their sister station in Capital City. He turns the volume up so he can better hear while he eats a bowl of the cereal I’d bought the day before. He then turns the light next to the futon where I’m sleeping on high. I’m forced to wake up. I ask him if he’s going to work. “No” he says between spoonfuls of cereal. “So why the hell are you up so damn early?” I say to myself.

After finishing his measuring cup full of cereal, he motions for me to scoot over on the futon so he can lay down next to me. Drowsily, I comply. I ask him if he’s feeling better. He thinks, “Hmmm… I’m about 90 percent.” He puts his arm around me. “Do you think we can go out later? I mean nothing strenuous. Like maybe to a movie and dinner?” I ask. “We’ll see” he replies and reaches for the remote to turn the TV up more. I try to go back to sleep, but my attempts are unsuccessful.

Finally, about 2 hours later, I give up all together. John’s fallen back asleep next to me. I crawl over him, put on my slippers, and head to the grimy kitchen. I flip the light switch on in the kitchen. It buzzes but refuses to come on all the way. So I search through the dark kitchen looking for a bowl and spoon. Finally, I find one, but knock a metal dish on the ground. The clunking startles the sleeping dragon.
“What are you doing?!?” John barks.
“Just trying to get some cereal!” I reply in a slightly pissed-off tone.
“Where’d you find a bowl?” What grown-ass man doesn’t own bowls? He didn’t even have plastic bowls.
“I found this yellow bowl in the drainer.”
“Oh, ok. How’d you get the light to do that?” yells John.
“It just came on like that.” I respond. “Maybe if your pitiful ass knew how to change a light bulb…” I continue in my head.

After finishing my bowl full of cereal, I ask John for the remote. He motions to it. I grab it and start flipping through the channels. I stop at BET and watch The Game.
“What the heck is THIS?” John questions. The show’s on a gym scene and on the screen is about a dozen hot and buff guys playing professional football players. He’s afraid I’m going to run off with Pooch Hall and sing songs while eating Snickers all day on a tropical island. (Y’all remember that commercial!) Pooch isn’t exactly my type, but at this point, given the choice between him & John, I’d tell Pooch to grab my bag. Shoot, I’d probably tell Jeffrey Dahmer to get my bag!

Just as the second episode of The Game is about to start, John takes the remote from me. He turns it to some old movie that was John probably saw when he was in high school. (Did I mention that John is OLD?) It looks like it’s almost over, so I lay back on the futon and start checking my email on my phone since he doesn’t have wi-fi and doesn’t even have the internet. He looks back at me. “Watch this babe!” So I watch. Then go back to Facebook. I’m capable of paying attention to my phone and the TV at the same time. He just doesn’t get it. “Watch this!” he barks again. “Your not watching this!” Finally, I put my phone down and watch the crappy movie. A few minutes later, I pick my phone back up.

John goes into the kitchen and turns on the microwave. I look over. He’s making something. Egg beaters, bread, ham & cheese. It’s been a couple of hours since I had my cereal. I’m not hungry, but sit and wait for him to ask if I want one. I wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, he sits back down on the futon with the egg and cheese sandwich on a plate. He takes a bite. I wait for him to ask if I would like a bite. And wait. And wait. And wait. Now all that’s left on the paper plate are a few crumbs and a clump of melted cheese.

I need to wash the filth of the last 18 hours off my body. I grab my toiletry bag and head for the shower. Prepare yourselves readers, this shower scene is just as terrifying as the one in Psycho. I pull back the shower curtain and… EEEEEK!!! Dark brown and black rings all around the tub, black streaks dripping down from the faucet to the drain, clumps of hair in the mat. Water is bubbling back up the drain, depositing black grains of filth on the bottom of the tub. I quickly close the curtain and think about what to do. I can’t go three days without a shower. Will the baby wipes I always bring with me be enough to do the job? No. I see a jar of Ajax on the side of the tub. It was open. But I wondered when the last time it had been used. I turn the shower on for a second to wet the tub and then liberally shake Ajax all over the tub. I then search for a sponge but can’t find one. There are some in the kitchen though. So I go back out and grab one. They’re cheap. Very cheap. I put the yellow side in my palm and try to scrub with the green side, but the grime is too thick. The sponge gives up and begins to fall apart. I get a second sponge, and it doesn’t last long either. Finally, I give up and just say a prayer over the tub. “Lord! Please protect me from the germs and filth that reside in this tub! Please protect me from disease as an attempt to cleanse myself! Amen!”

I realize I don’t have any linens. I go back into the living room where John is still laying on the futon.
“Babe, where are the towels?”
“Oh, I don’t have any. I didn’t get to do laundry. Use paper towel.”
My eyes widen in disbelief. But then he continues.
“But don’t use the paper towel in the bathroom! That one’s too expensive.” He was referring to the cheap, low-name brand, dollar store paper towel. You can buy ten rolls for $5. It wasn’t like it was Bounty. He then points to the kitchen. “Use the roll on the kitchen table by the door.”

I go over to see what he’s talking about. What kind of paper towel would be cheaper than the dollar store kind? There, on the table, is a roll of white, rough, un-perforated paper towel. The kind that you’d find in just about every public restroom. The kind that you can just barely dry your hands with without cutting yourself and this “man” wanted me to wash my face and bathe my body with this crap?

Obviously arguing with John is pointless at this point. So I clench my jaw and unclenched my fists. I tear off a length of the white paper towel and head to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, I drop that towel on the floor and begin unrolling the “expensive” dollar store towel. Passive-agressive, I know. Whatever.

After my dirty shower and eating the cold leftover chicken from last night for lunch, I grab my purse. “I’m going out for a while” I tell John. Grab the keys off the hook and make a dash for the door. FREEDOM!!! I walk, and walk, and WALK! I walk for about an hour looking for little shops to maybe browse through or a museum to check out or something. There’s nothing of interest. I think about heading back to John’s. No. I’d rather just sit on a park bench looking like a bum until sunset then go back to that hell hole. So I keep walking.

I go to cross the road and escape to the North. But as I step off the curb, I drop. I put my hands out in front of me and then quickly turn and take the brunt of the fall with my sturdier forearm and stop my head from hitting the ground. How apropos. Apparently the curb was a little higher than the others, and on top of that, there was a pothole right beneath it, making what should have been just a 6 inch step, a 1 foot drop. A portly Latino man rushes over to help me up. He asks if I’m ok. I am. I brush the dirt off my hot pink coat and black leggings. I give myself a quick check over. Just a little more of a bruised ego than anything else. Again, I consider returning to John’s. Hell no! I’d rather go to the hospital than go back there! But I’m ok. I continue my walk.

Three hours later, I find myself at the end of the Theater District. Yes, I had walked a very long way! Four hours of walking, and I’d only stopped in about 3 or 4 stores for about ten minutes each. I want to keep walking, but decide to head back to John’s because it was 4pm and the sun would soon be setting.

Climbing back up the sea-foam green and marble staircase to John’s dungeon, I run through the bus schedule for the next day in my head. I open the door. John’s still laying on the futon. I ask how he’s feeling.
“Hmmm… 90%” he responds again.
“Great! Can we go out tonight?” I ask full of hope.
“No.” he replies curtly.

I take off my coat and hang it on the back of a chair. “I took a nasty fall today.” I proceed to tell him the terrifying tale of my tumble. I was expecting him to sit up and ask if I was ok, maybe even offer to kiss my boo boo. But no. He just sat there, eyes glued on Glenn Beck on Fox News.

I sigh and try to take a different route. “I had such a great time walking and shopping today!” I show him what I bought, including a glittery ring.
“How’d you pay for it?” he asks.
What kind of question was that? “With cash. My OWN cash!”

John gets up from the futon and heads to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich. It’s about 6pm. Finally he shows some courtesy and asks me if I want one.
“No,” I reply. “What I would like is some dinner.”
“We can order something later.” he says. I grab a plum from the fruit basket his co-workers sent him that arrived shortly after I got back. I hope that will tide me over until dinner.

Two hours later, John asks me to call the Spanish restaurant we’d ordered from the night before. I’m not a big fan of Spanish food like that and they really just did us a huge favor by delivering out of their area last time. I ask if we can have Chinese instead. He says ok. Thirty minutes later, the delivery man arrives. “Just a two dollar tip! Give him just two dollars!” John barks again as I head toward the door, just as he did the previous night. I give the man three, but after he leaves, I do the math again in my head and realize I still didn’t tip him enough. I bring the bag of food into the living room and pull out the side table. I go to sit down beside him on the futon.
“Don’t sit there!” he shouts.
“Why not?”
“That’s too much weight on the edge of the futon!”
Wait a minute, did he just call me fat??? A futon’s made for sitting. It’s supposed to hold up to three people. Rather than arguing with him more, I get a chair out of the kitchen.

I give John his bowl of wonton soup. Why he ordered wonton soup when he doesn’t eat pork, I don’t know. He takes a bite of a wonton and spits it out.
“This meat’s bad.” he proclaims.
Of course it is! I think to myself. You don’t eat pork so of course it’s gonna taste funny! I offer him one of my vegetable dumplings. He takes one, dunks it in the sauce, spilling the sauce all over the table. He takes a bite. He doesn’t like it and throws the other half of the dumpling in the bag.
John asks “How much did this stuff cost?”
“$20.65” I say as I eat one of my delicious dumplings.
“WHAT!!!” He yells.
Before he can go off on a tirade I jump in. “I ordered what I wanted to eat. Besides, had we gone out tonight, you would have spent A LOT more!”
He says nothing, for once.

After dinner, he goes into his bedroom and begins cleaning out a junk drawer. I stay in the living room and watch TV. I could care less at this point. I’m just counting down the hours until 9am when I’ll leave to catch the 10am bus. I begin thinking about if I should try for the 7am bus, but I’m not a morning person. At about 11:30, he comes out of his room, fully dressed.
“I’m going to take out the trash,” He learned from the night before not to ask me that late, “and I’m going to run some errands.” Run some errands? Who the heck runs errands at 11:30 at night? I take that as code for “I’m going to find a hooker.” Again, I don’t give a rat’s ass. Just don’t wake me when you come back.

My alarm’s set for 7am, but I am awakened well before that. John got sick again and was racing from the bedroom to the bathroom. The caring, maternal instincts in me kicked in once again. Should I take a later bus to make sure he’s alright? The last few days quickly replay through my mind. “Hell no!” I say to myself and get up and go to re-pack my bag. I’m dressed and almost ready to go. It’s now a few minutes after 9. I’d planned to leave by 9 to have enough time to make it down to the train station and arrive a half hour early. At least that’s what I told John. He’s back on the futon now, curled up in a ball. It’s 9:15.
“You’re never gonna make it.” he says
“Like hell I am!” I say to myself. To him I say, “Oh, I’ll be fine.” I go over to him and give him a hug. “I hope you feel better soon!”
“If I’m not, I’ll go back to the hospital.” he tells me. He obviously doesn’t want to spend a second weekend there.
I assure him, “I’ll call you when I get home to let you know I made it safely and to make sure you’re ok baby.” I cringe internally from calling him that pet name. I grab my suitcase and my purse and head down the sea-foam green and marble staircase one last time.

I wait till I’m around the corner and out of view of his building to do my hallelujah dance. I was free from the monster! Never would I have to deal with him again! Well, I did call him as promised. He didn’t answer the first time, but a few hours later he did. He was alive. Good for him. I ripped up his business card and deleted his number from my phone.




  1. Awwwh, maybe you should give him a second chance. LOL

    Comment by Soul Mirror — March 16, 2010 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  2. No. I’ll leave him free to date other people. In fact, I think I’ll give him YOUR number!

    Comment by missscarlett19 — March 16, 2010 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  3. The HORROR!…sweetie. STOP the passive/aggressive tendencies. At least when it comes to men. In that situation I would’ve left. Gotten on the first bus/train/flight OUT. NO explanation required.

    But WOW, was he CHEAP. I think he has serious issues and I could seriously see him as very old fashioned, and COUNTRY!

    You are a city mouse darling. With country sweetness and genteelness but STILL A very classy city mouse. SNAP! SNAP!

    Dang, he was a nutjob.

    Comment by Mery — March 20, 2010 @ 11:40 pm | Reply

    • I’m not typically passive-aggressive. It was 3 things. 1) I hoped his attitude was related to his being sick, 2) I’m a nurturer and can’t leave someone so sick to fend for themselves, 3) I wanted to stay and enjoy the city!

      Comment by missscarlett19 — March 21, 2010 @ 7:51 am | Reply

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