It started with national Talk Like a Pirate Day in September. Jake was all argghs and ahoy mateys which made me laugh. Not that hard, but still, I did laugh. At first.
Then one Wednesday after work, we met for happy hour at this great little pub Jake discovered. I ordered wings. Jake wanted the fish and chips. After the waitress took our order, I leaned across the two-top.
“Babe, I don’t think you should refer to her as a wench. It’s rude.”
“Must be the grog,” he said raising his beer.
“Just stop. Please.”
My boyfriend went on these episodic kicks. Like the time he insisted on wearing a red acrylic sweater with a big green Christmas tree on the front, in March. He found it in the bargain bin at the Goodwill for three bucks. It was missing most of its Velcro-backed detachable ornaments so Jake decorated his tree sweater with political buttons and safety pinned a broken Pez head of a dog at the pointy top, referring to it as a Dogstar.
“It’s ironic,” he said.
“It’s almost April,” I said.
He finally put away the sweater when temperatures hit 80-something. The trouble with the pirate thing was that it wasn’t weather-dependent. Also, it kind of sneaked up on me. When Jake stopped shaving, I didn’t think that much of it. I mean, I did think his upper lip looked like a nesting place for skinny-legged spiders, but I didn’t immediately think, uh-oh, pirate phase.
“What’s that on your face?” I teased one morning in bed. “Are you thinking of growing a mustache?”
“I don’t have to think about it,” he said. “It just happens.”
I laughed. Jake pulled me close and kissed me on the mouth with a waft of citrus and cloves. I realized later it was the vintage cologne he rubbed into his stubble. Bay Rum, he said, because it sounded Pirate-y.
(Playing around with a short story about loving a mildly manic guy; image @194angellstreet, @ellowrites @ellocollaboration