Honeymoon and Garlic (Writer’s Isle, Sun. Scribs)
Drove upstate after The Big Date…
Honeymooning in the most
romantic, exotic destination
his heart could conjure:
A state park near Ithaca, NY.
(I knew this was the beginning of the end.)

My idea of camping is:
Where do I plug in my hair dryer?
Dire situation: Pitching the tent
(bitching to myself about the
rocky terrain. And the park.
I had definite ideas about tent poles.
In general and in specific.
Now he was bossing me around
telling me how I had the doohickeys
upside down, here, let ME do it,
like it takes Einstein or a similar genius
(meaning him) to put the damned thing together.
My betrothed, until death do us part
(until I strangle him, I’m already thinking).

Stoking the fire with damp wood –
smoking grey and choking the cook (moi),
I began begetting dinner.
A large pot for boiling water.
A skillet, olive oil shimmered as
garlic and onion swam
in the hot, shallow pool.
Clams next; a pat of butter.

Folks at the next campsite stared.
Dad yelled, “What the hell ya cookin’?
Sure smells good!” But he was kinda snarky about it.
I chirped back, “Linguine with white clam sauce,”
shaking a bottle of homemade vinaigrette
to drizzle over crisp romaine.
Guffaws from the the old fart as he
shook his head. Then he whispered,
loud enough for me to hear,
“City folk,” burning his mystery meat wieners
on the disgusting camp grill.

His wife looked to me with longing,
grinning her approval at my audacity.
I shrugged back, as if to say, You pitched your tent,
now you have to eat his wieners.
(My husband had ridiculed my choice
of uppity food, no gratitude. He did like
the Corelle plates, environmentally correct.
But he didn’t help clean up, just meandered off
to commune with nature
or talk to some animal who understood him.)

Unzipping the “honeymoon suite”
for a 3 a.m. leak in the bushes,
I gazed at the pinspot-littered sky.
“Why?” I whispered to God.
“Why did I just sign up for a divorce?”

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil