Infrequently, dreams are vivid enough where you can actually feel what's happening. When I was forced into consciousness in the midst of an amazingly scintillating dream which apparently precipitated numerous moans, I thought I'd find myself in bed half naked and in ecstasy. Instead, Taylor was straddling me, hovering over my face with his destructive morning breath until I awoke.
"You fucking tease," disappointed he wasn't naked and ravishing me, I tried to push him off.
"Go to the grocery store."
Of all the chauvinistic, dominant male things to say. "Excuse me?"
"You ate everything I had; go buy more food."
I'd spent the last week at Taylor's apartment. Since moving in hadn't worked in the past, I left most of my things at my own apartment aside from the toothbrush and simply slept there every other night.
"What do you want?"
"Just stuff, you know."
No, I did not know. My mother never taught me how to cook, let alone how to shop for necessary food stuffs in a grocery store. "That's a horrible idea."
"Of course it's not. You're almost thirty-"
"Taylor, shut up."
"Sorry. You should at least know what to buy at a grocery store, if nothing else." He began kissing down my neck, listing all the things I'd consumed from his fridge the past week.
"Damn it, fine!" I kicked the sheets off my feet as he gladly dismounted and handed me thirty dollars from his dresser. I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed a sweater from the back of my chair, and left the room.
"Couldn't you at least change pants?" He yelled behind me, knowing it was pushing my every button.
"When you get back, sweets," he muffled a grunt as he threw himself back into bed and under the covers.
Groggy and underdressed, I wandered into the closest open market I could find. Aside from flickering fluorescent lights and that drunken strobe-effect it had on me, I grabbed a cart and stammered forward. Standing before a literal rainbow of vegetables, I tried to convince myself that I could, in fact, cook like a woman. This would be easy.
For an empowering five minutes I stared down the zucchini and the eggplant, determined that I could make something useful of them. Out of sheer curiosity, I had just reached out to inspect the texture of one of the zucchini when the most terrifyingly familiar voice piped up.
"Graduated to practicing on vegetables, I see?"
How is it that every time Molly appears, she's always got some well-planned sexual innuendo to spit out and a half-smoked cigarette in her left hand?
I shuttered, "Got to practice on something." How the hell did she smuggle the cigarette into the produce section?
Taking one last fulfilling drag before stuffing the stick underneath a stack of green beans and flipping her hair to one side, she examined me. "Where have you been lately?"
"Alternative sleeping arrangements."
"Something like that."
"All right!" She wiggled her eyebrows and grinned. "Still wearing his clothes too?" Lifting her finger, she poked the hole growing on the upper right shoulder.
"All my clothes are at home."
"Most of them, anyway. Bea and I raided your closet; we figured you weren't coming back for clothes."
"Molly I was there three days ago."
She paused, obviously having never noticed when I actually was in the apartment. "Did you take that from my room?" She pointed at the shirt again. "Because it looks really familiar."
"The only thing I ever took from you room were cigarettes."
"You slut! I knew it!"
"You stole my fucking bread!"
I realized we were yelling at each other about food stuffs in the middle of the grocery store and felt somewhat ridiculous, but years of hijacked bread had left me bitter about the subject.
"It's not like you were using it," she resolved, pushing the green beans around with her finger.
We lingered for a moment or two in silence until she asked again, "Are you sure that isn't my shirt?"
"I'll see you at home, Molly," I rolled my eyes and pushed past her.
Distracted by Molly's inquisition and my inability to collect vegetables, I returned to Taylor's with only cream cheese and bagels; I resolved that I could never be a real woman and would just have to stick to my safety net of breakfast foods.
Frustrated yet not surprised when I returned with insufficient rations, he only pulled me into bed, stripped me of the tattered blue shirt, and surrendered his efforts to domesticate me. We spent the remainder of the day tangled in musty sheets and body parts, talking about my inadequacies and his overachievements.