Marital ESP fades slowly into the sunset

Burt's Eye View

Terry looked thoughtful. “Is there a side road that I can take to get there?”

“Oh, sure,” I said. “Six or seven of them.”

“Which one would you take?”

“That depends. … Where might you be going?”

She had done it again. She had dropped me into the middle of her internal streams of thought. I had no clue where to paddle.

Some people claim that the longer a couple stays together, the more they finish each other’s sentences. Not us. Terry’s and my marital ESP seems to be swimming in reverse.

Half the time, she doesn’t know what I’m talking about either.

I was rummaging through the junk drawer. “Where is it?”

“What are you looking for?” she asked.

“The, uh…” The words trailed off. I kept digging.

“The, uh, what?” she demanded.

But I’m so deep into my own thoughts that I can’t get them out any better than I can find that whatever it is. “You know, the, uh … that thing.”

“Bigger than a bread box? Red? Blue? Yellow? Give me a hint.”

I slammed the drawer. “You’re right. It’s not in here. I left it in the…” And away I ran.

Eleven years ago when we were engaged, it was like we shared the same brain. I picked her up for a date, popped a CD into the player and Terry’s eyes lit up. “How did you know I was singing this song all day long. It’s like you know my every thought.”

Now that we’ve been married and sharing the same space for nearly a decade, we haven’t a clue.

The other night, I came home from work, flopped into my chair, picked up my laptop, and while staring at the screen, told Terry, “I sent that paperwork in. We should know within five days.”

I toggled through a few screens. After a couple minutes, she broke the silence. “So… I have to wait five days before I have any inkling on what paperwork you’re talking about?”

I looked up. “Come on, we talked about it Thursday.”

“This is Monday.”

“Monday? Did I…” I tapped furiously at my keyboard.

Three minutes later, I heard a dramatic sigh from across the room. “Yes, I think you did. Unless you didn’t. Maybe. If you need me, I’ll be in the…” And she stalked out of the room.

Later, I found her in the kitchen. Without looking up from the saute pan, Terry reached back toward me and said, “Hand me that.”

Why she wanted the used tissue I was carrying to the wastebasket, I couldn’t fathom, but I slapped it into her palm.

She . “Ew, not that!” She shook her hand like it was on fire. The tissue fluttered to the floor. “Why did you give me a dirty tissue?”

“You told me to.”

“No!” she yelled as she scalded her hand with soap and steaming water. “The salt. I asked you to hand me the salt.”

“You didn’t say anything about salt.”

“But I was… You should know that… I mean… Oh, never mind.”

I picked up the tissue, threw it away and walked away to start never minding. But first, “Have you seen my…” My voice trailed off as I sorted through some papers on the table.

She dumped the salt on my head.

Eleven years ago, before our marital ESP began to fade, I would have seen that coming.

— Send Cole… you know, that thing… at or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.