Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

waiter, there seems to be a fly in my cheese dip

After a ridiculously long day spent running errands and checking off the tasks on my “to do list”, I was able to spend a quiet dinner with my husband.  We needed it.  A night to ourselves.  I can’t even remember the last time we were able to spend an evening alone. 

But I didn’t intend it to be a night together that felt like we were alone. 

We drove aimlessly, not knowing where we would end up, or what we wanted to eat.  We didn’t have to wonder for long…we ended up at the local Mexican restaurant...because there is nothing better for stress than a nice bowl of melted cheese dip and salsa with hot greasy chips.

I love cheese dip.  It’s one of my favorite vices—it’s all bad, but so good—but tonight, I wasn’t hungry.  I just wanted a glass of ice cold water while I picked at the cheese dip and chips.

I took a long sip of my ice water through the straw before churning up the ice.  I like to use the straw to push the ice down to the bottom of the glass to chill the water down below.   Or maybe it’s just a nervous habit.  Either way, I was dunking the ice cubes with the straw when I noticed something floating in my glass.   Something with wings.

A bug. 

What little appetite I had was instantly gone.  I had just downed quite a bit of water from that glass and who knows if the bug had been alone in there. 

What was I going to do? 

I asked for a new glass, and drank more water.  I don’t know if that did any good.  If I had swallowed a bug it wasn’t going anywhere for at least an hour or so. 

I suddenly had to use the restroom. 

I had never been to the restroom in this Mexican restaurant before.  It was like a gas station bathroom in a Quentin Tarantino movie.  There was something splattered up the sides of the walls in the only stall that was clean enough to enter, and I wasn’t sure what that something was.  The fact that I couldn’t identify it was more disturbing to me than the fact that it was there.  It looked remotely like a bottle of ink had smashed, splashing dark black ink up the walls.   I was pretty sure this wasn’t something new, or fresh, so I went ahead and pretended it wasn’t there—no small feat, I can assure you. 

I have never used a public restroom that was quite so gross before.  The water in the toilet was so high, I was almost afraid to add to it.  At least it was clear water, but I certainly won’t say it was clean.  I did my thing as quickly as I could, and got out.  But not without washing my hands.  Unfortunately, the water pressure in the sink was so high that when I turned the water on, it sprayed all over the front of me.  I looked sort of like I’d been playing with a hose. 

When I got back to our table, I’m pretty sure my husband was relieved.  I took so long that I think he was afraid I may have fallen in. 

At least it gave us something to talk about. 

It’s funny.  After spending so much time dealing with stress, we had forgotten how to relate to each other as just a couple.  We didn’t talk much, other than to relay our day to each other.  There was far too much tension to relax.  I have great hope that this is just a temporary state of being.  But for tonight, it was alive.  It was like another person in the room.

But in keeping with my positive thinking model, I will say that tomorrow is another day.  Hopefully a day without bugs in my drink, or tension in my family.  It’s a work in progress.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Add your cliché here.

Until the next time…I’ll be trying to get to know that “other person in the room.”

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