Mike washed his hair, rinsed his head and his body, and then turned off the water. Patience handed him a towel as he opened the door. While he dried himself, she set his clothes out on the bed and then hopped downstairs to the kitchen to serve his blueberry waffle. She poured herself a glass of water and poured a glass of milk for Mike, set his breakfast at his place, and then sat down to wait for him. Seventy six point three seconds later, Mike entered and sat down.
“You are not wearing the right shirt,” said Patience. “I laid out your beige shirt. It matches your slacks.”
“This is fine,” he replied, cutting a piece of waffle with his fork.
“But that is your blue shirt. It doesn’t match your slacks.”
He leaned over sideways and looked at what she was wearing. Her sleeveless yellow blouse and miniskirt combination matched her yellow semi-wedge sandals with four and half inch heels. They made her slender legs seem to go on forever.
“What are we getting dressed up for?”
“You’re taking me to the art exposition at the community center.”
“All right.” He took a bite, still looking at her. “You did your hair different.”
“Yes, I pinned it back behind my left ear. I thought about pinning it back behind my right ear, but in the end I changed my mind. Do you like it?”
“You look gorgeous, as always. Are you sure you want to be seen with an old man like me?”
Patience stood up and walked around behind him. She watched as he cut another piece of waffle and brought it to his mouth, before cupping her hands under his chin, tilting his head back, and kissing him on the lips.
“You are not old.”
“You’re fifty-six, but you are very handsome.” She kissed him again. “Hurry and eat your breakfast. I told Wanda that we would meet them at ten.”
“Who’s Wanda… shit!”
“What’s the matter, Mike?”
“I dribbled syrup on my shirt.”
“Now you can change into one that matches.”
Thirty minutes later, Mike maneuvered his Chevy through the narrow downtown streets of Springdale, California. He turned left and slowed as they passed over the speed bump at the entrance to the community center’s parking lot. He turned and smiled at Patience, to find her glaring at him.
“You know what.”
Mike was wearing a beige shirt, but it wasn’t the one that his wife had selected for him.
“I like this shirt better. It’s more comfortable, and it matches. Doesn’t it?” He steered into a parking space near the entrance.
“You should park farther away.”
“You just have an opinion about everything today, don’t you?” he said.
Sliding the gearshift into park, Mike unbuckled his seatbelt and climbed out. He had taken three long strides toward the front entrance before he realized that Patience hadn’t moved from the passenger side. Stepping around, he opened the door for her. She slid her legs out the door and then stood up.
Shutting the car door with a sigh, Mike offered her his arm, which she took. They walked the short distance to the building’s entryway. Though it was not yet 10 AM, the temperature had already surpassed the century mark, and that was beneath the large orange awning that covered most of downtown. Stepping inside though, they found an entirely different experience. It was dark and the air conditioners seemed to be working overtime.
“Damn, it’s cold in here,” said Mike. “I wish I’d worn my other shirt. You must be freezing in that little outfit.”
Patience stopped and stared at him.
“Yes, I get it. You set out the shirt I should have worn and your temperature range is blawdy blawdy blawdy.”