It was the first day of our vacation. The sun was setting as we drove east down the trans-Canada, passing Fredriction. I was thinking of a nice place to stop for the night; I didn't want to disappoint her this time.
"What do you mean Gagetown?" She said, smoking her unfiltered cigarette in agitation, as if it had a filter.
"I don't know," I said. "I heard there was a Meaties there, I figured we could grab a donair and stay for the night."
"OK fine," she said, a little relieved. "But where are we going to sleep?"
"There's a discount military motel there, I think it has cable now."
"I'm not in the army."
"It's for citizens"
"I'm not a citizens," she snapped, sorry to be reminded of it.
"Well I don't think they check Tina, fucking shit!"
"Don't you ‘fucking shit’ me Roger, I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
"You did not bring me into this world! Why do you do that? Why do you always say expressions that don't add up?"
"Well I paid for half the fucking gas!"
"That has nothing to do with bringing me into, or taking me out of this world! You're not my fucking mother!"
"Forget I even talk," she grumbled.
This always happens, I think she's given up, but in reality she's arming herself with an arsenal of words carefully crafted to ram through my self-esteem like a bulldozer through a shithouse.
"You're a fucking loser Roger. A FUCKING LOSER!"
"I am not a loser."
"Yes you are."
"I AM NOT!"
"Yes you are. You're a fuck-ing loser."
She got me. I could feel it coming, that acidic feeling in my gut, the muscles in my lower lip and under my eyes tensing up. I tried to distract myself by getting angry at the other drivers on the road, but they just weren't driving that badly. I couldn't hold it back any longer. I sobbed. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, and I couldn't even dry my face because I was wearing a T-shirt and my forearms smelt like salami.
Sometimes I wonder why I'm even in this relationship. It seems like all we do is fight and put each other down. But somehow, Tina always comes through and makes things right again, and I'm reminded of why I love her . . . so much.
"Roger? Do you . . . do you want a smoke?"
" . . . a . . . yeah, sure."
She lit my cigarette, took the first drag, and put her hand on my nee.