"You are a perfect asshole,"
said the doctor as we stood in front of the screen, viewing the image of Sven's colon.We took his cue and we laughed. I wondered how many butt jokes he squeezed in each day. I supposed he could have said to someone with not the best results, "Well, I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news? We are going to have to remove your colon. The good news? No one will ever accuse you of being a perfect asshole again." "Okay," I said. "Then we're all set?" I'd been hanging around the hospital since the 6:30 A.M. check in, and I was bored out of my gourd. I was tired and I was hungry and I was Sven's designated driver. After listening to the post colonoscopy instructions, we were finally dismissed. But, Sven couldn't stop talking. "So, what you are saying then, is my asshole is perfect." "Yes." "Did you hear that Millie?" I had to drag him out by the arm. It was a gorgeous spring morning and it was closing in on noon. What a shame it was that we had to go home so that Sven could lay around on the couch and recuperate from the mandatory procedure he'd had, because he'd just turned fifty. "I should get my new glasses today," he says. "My prescription is in the glove." Oh, crap. I didn't want to go shopping for glasses. But I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity, ever since that one time that Sven had gone on his own and he'd come home looking like Elton John. "I'm starving," I said. "Can we go out for lunch first?" "Sure." "Do you feel okay?" I asked. "Yeah, I'm fine." I was surprised at how quickly he'd agreed to this, because Sven is not often a sit down in a restaurant, kind of a guy. You can make sandwiches at home for a lot less money, you know. He skipped in front of me to the driver's side of the car. This was Sven's pre-shattered ankle days, when he always skipped in parking lots. For some reason parking lots made him skip. And he was good at it. "Hold on," I yelled from behind, as he put his hand on the car door handle. "I am supposed to drive." "I'm fine. I can drive," he says. "No you can't. Didn't you listen to the instructions?" "What instructions?" "The instructions the doctor just gave us. You can't drive today." "Well, that's stupid. I'm fine. I was awake the whole time in there. I think I was even talking to them during my colonoscopy." I believe he might have been, because he continued to ramble on, all the way to Madison, a forty minute jaunt. We found a pancake house and we slid into a booth where I ferociously stuffed myself with a patty melt and French fries. Sven was bubbly. Bubbly is not a word that describes Sven. Words that describe Sven are, sweet, surly, intelligent, sexy, deep, frugal, messy and mischievous, but not bubbly. No bubbles ever, what so ever. "Aren't you getting tired?" I said "No." We crossed the street and walked into Eye Mart to pick out some new frames. And then we had a two hour wait for the lenses. "Hey, I've got an idea," he says. "Let's go to Play it Again and I'll buy you some new ski boots. They should be on sale." So, I followed Sven out the door like a happy little puppy dog. And the next thing I knew, I was holding up a pair of used boots, that were in pretty decent shape. But this Sven would have nothing to do with them. "Twenty bucks for those?" he says. "That's bull shit. Come on, I'll buy you a brand new pair." Who was this rich, bubbly, man? I kind of liked the perfect asshole that I was married to. Again, I had to beat him away from the steering wheel. "Millie, I'm fine." "I don't care. It's doctors orders," I said. At the sporting good store I picked out a nice pair of classical, cross country ski boots and Sven found a basketball that he really seemed to connect with. "What do you think?" He says, holding it up and trying unsuccessfully to spin it on his finger. "Um, it's absolutely adorable?" I answered. "That's what I thought too." "Sven! Stop bouncing it in the store," I scolded. We went back to pick up his glasses and after they were adjusted to fit his face just right, we headed toward home. "Hey, I've got an idea," he says when we got to town. "Let's stop in for a beer." "Aren't you tired?" "No. Should I be?" So, I pulled over and we walked down the steps into the Snake Pit, a super fancy joint, and we had us a beer. "Come on," I said after that. "I have to get supper started." Again we had a discussion at the curb about just exactly who was going to drive. "Why do you even care who drives?" I said. "Since when does it matter?" "Since they said I'm not supposed to. Come on, just give me the keys. I'm fine." In hind sight, well, hind sight doesn't really matter, I handed over the keys. That night, right after supper, Sven fell asleep on the couch, where he remained until I woke him up to go to bed. The alarm rang in the morning and the kids took off for school and we left for work. With the next sunrise, Saturday morning arrived and a few hours later, I crawled out of bed, made a cup of coffee, took Leonard for a walk and then turned on the vacuum, because I hadn't yet discovered writing. "Hey!" I heard Sven yell over the roar of the machine. I turned it off. "Who's basketball is that?" He was looking at the ball on the landing to the basement. "Yours." "No, it's' not." "Yes, it is." "Millie, I think I know my own basketball," he says, in a tone that sounded like, "What man and his basketball have been in my house?" I overlooked the underlying accusation. "Well Sven, that would be your new basketball." "What do you mean, my new basketball?" For the love of God, I realized he was serious. "You bought it after your colonoscopy." "I did not." "Yes, you did." He looked dumb founded. "Where?" "At Dunhams." He had a blank look. "Sven, you got it when you bought me my new ski boots." "I bought you new ski boots?"
[one_half_last]I pointed to the pair that was sitting on the floor right next to the basketball.[/one_half_last]"Millie, you're making this up." "Oh, my God. I let you drive home." "I drove home?"
"OH, SHIT,"I said, an then I went to pour myself another cup of coffee.
"Wow," I heard Sven say as I walked into the kitchen.