003: keith

so, i wanted to surprise her with a romantic evening at home for our anniversary, right. i went to fred meyer and i bought, you know, food, pasta and some gourmet marinara sauce, some greens, like, uh, salad, that kind of stuff. a nice bottle of wine. some of those, ah … truffles, chocolate truffles. and in the movies you always see a bunch of candles because women love dimly lit rooms i guess, so i got a bunch of candles. i basically bought a whole shelf worth of candles. had to’ve been like 50 candles, no joke, all of those big jar candles too–i, i spent a lot of money on candles, jake, and i brought them all into my stuffy little apartment and put them everywhere and about a half an hour before she arrived, i lit them all. i guess i kind of wasn’t thinking because, well, i spent too much money, but i was all giddy about showing her a good time because i love her, jake, i love her a lot, and so i bought all of these candles, not knowing that they all smelled. i mean i knew, i saw the lables, but it didn’t really dawn on me. like, 50 candles, and they all have a scent. they all have a different scent, jake. so i light them and then i go out because i’ll be honest i didn’t have any condoms, i go down to the corner store for some condoms and when i get back, my apartment smells like a shit potpourri. because i bought some, you know, lilac and lavender candles and shit, but i also bought some fruity candles like cherry and “manly” candles that smelled like bacon and baked potatoes and shit like that. like, ten candles that smelled like different pies. and i don’t know what to do at this point, the entire apartment smells like shit. i blow a few of them out but then the smell of smoke mixes in with vanilla bean and, i don’t know, fruit salad, all this shit, strawberries and wood smoke and–i swear there was a salmon one, i swear–and it’s awful, it’s worse than just having them lit. oh, and then the smoke alarm goes off, which makes the upstairs neighbor’s dog bark like fucking crazy, so the neighbor is slamming her cane on the ground and i gotta grab a towel to fan the smoke out of the window, we’re talking a five story walkup, there’s no central air, it’s not like i can just …

well anyway she’s coming, she’s on her way, she texts me, right, and i’ve already told her i have a surprise planned and to dress like we’re going out. i told her that morning, you know, to get her all intrigued. oh, my god jake she was so fucking hot that night. she was like … spring water bubbling out of an oasis after days of wandering the desert. but anyway she’s on her way and i still gotta make dinner. so i’m cooking pasta, i got pasta going and now the house smells like pasta and warming marinara sauce and fucking lilac and rosehips and just, it’s too much, i was retching at this point, like dry heaving, i’m cooking the pasta and trying not to puke. i didn’t know what to do so i just kept cooking, i turned into a robotic wolfgang puck jake, i swear to god. i would stick my face in the steam just to clear my sinuses, man. and i’ve got the pasta and some baguette i bought at fred meyer and sauce and salad and i’m setting the table, i’ve got the pasta in a bowl, it’s all perfect looking. then i’m all finished and i promptly pass out. like, pass out, from the fumes, from the stench of it all. i end up smacking my head on the side of the table hard, and thank god josie has a key to the apartment or else who knows, i might be dead right now. when she came in she said it looked like i got shot in the head, for chrissakes.

she drives me to the ER and i get some stitches and then we go back to fred meyer and buy a fan, which we prop up in the window to blow out the smoke and lilac and peaches and marshmallow and all that stench. the rigatoni tastes like everything so we chuck it in the compost. i apologize profusely and she says it’s okay and kisses me on the giant goose egg on my forehead. we get pizza and watch netflix and then have a little sex. a little, cause the doc was worried about a concussion, so, you know …

anyway, i hope mary enjoys the candles. i just had to get rid of them all. i had josie sort them out based on similar smells, so i promise you won’t be blindsided by something weird. if you do though, just chuck it in the garbage or something, because i don’t want any of them back, ever. right now our house is wallpapered in fabreeze. just, whatever you do … one at a time, okay? not all at once. not all at once.

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