“Where have you been?” Peter asked. It was the wee hours of Monday morning and he was just getting into bed.
“Los Angeles…I just got back,” I said. “The plane was late.”
“Why were you there?”
“Columnists’ conference, remember? I marked it on the big calendar downstairs.”
“Hm-m,” he muttered and, lights out, he was asleep. So much for a welcome home hurrah.
Leslie had been in charge my four days away. She (and Carolynn, too) can handle Peter, often more easily than I can. She’d been asleep on the couch and went home as soon as I came in.
When Peter came downstairs next morning, I said, “Gooood morning,” as I do every day.
He affected his fake startled look, as he always does, and said, “Oh, hello…I thought you were away.”
“I came back…two o’clock this morning,”
“Where were you?”
“L.A.” I said, pointing to the calendar on the kitchen counter.
“Mm-m, that was a long time ago. I don’t remember.” The previous Thursday was ancient history in Peter’s mind
I didn’t expect him to remember, but still it rankled. “It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done,” I said. I wanted to tell him about it, but showed him photos on my phone instead.
“I’m sorry, there’s just nothing in my head anymore.” He sighed and knocked on his forehead with his fist.
“But it doesn’t sound hollow,” I said and we laughed.
I didn’t even try to tell him that I’d won the number two spot in my category. Or that the award came with two hundred dollars or that I sat next to my idol Leonard Pitts at dinner.
“Not me,” I said. “Coming downstairs is as far as I want to travel to go to work.”