The Last Time I Was Punched In The Face

Way back when in the early 1990s, I started seeing this man who presently reads this weblog. This man will totally recognize himself in this story, and he will be okay with it, because I just said he would be. See how that works? I AM POWERFUL.

We had just started seeing each other, but we weren't really an item yet, because I was busy being a screwed up twenty-year-old in the midst of a very confusing engagement. That's a story for another day, though.

We had just started seeing each other, and we were hanging out in my craptastic apartment that I rented for $195 a month. It had a bathroom, but it was across the hall next to the building's front door. Someone, possibly a previous tenant, had written "Private. Don't Use." in red lipstick on the door. The kitchen cupboards were inexplicably hung so that the lowest shelves were six feet in the air. The flooring in the living room was most shocking, though. I ripped up a corner of the carpeting one afternoon to find another layer of carpet on top of a layer of padding on top of a layer of linoleum on top of another layer of linoleum on top of some old hardwood. It was like an archaeology project. That was one classy place.

So, we had just started seeing each other, and it had been one of those long, lazy summer afternoons that leave you sleepy. We decided to take a nap and curled up next to each other on the bed. I managed to sleep for only a short while before I chose to while away the time by memorizing every pore and hair on his face. Ah, new love.


I was in the middle of tracing the lines of his sandy lashes with my eyes when his fist suddenly connected with my face.

"What the hell?!" I said, pulling back against the wall.

"What?" he said, rubbing his eyes.

"What the hell?! You just punched me between the eyes!"

"Huh? I did what?" He got up on one elbow.

"You just punched me in the face."

"I didn't mean to. I'm so sorry. I was dreaming."

"You were dreaming," I said, incredulous.

"I was driving a covered wagon and we were being attacked and you were a Mexican with a gun and..."

"So you punched me because I was a Mexican with a gun?"

"Yeah. I'm so sorry."

So, obviously, I decided to live with him for the next three years. On the other hand, if I hadn't, I would have ended up marrying the other guy who eventually became a fish farmer that had to hire someone to shoot scavenging seals. The grotesquerie of fish farming and seal murder weren't really what I had in mind for my future, either.

(By the way, that was the only time in our relationship that the man ever laid an unkind hand on me, and it wasn't even me he was attacking in the first place. He had a covered wagon to defend! Plus, our sixteen years of friendship have totally been worth one accidental punch in the face.)

A word of advice: if a prospective romantic partner punches you in the face the first time you sleep in the same bed together because he or she dreams that you are a violent adversary, it might not bode well for the future of your love relationship. I'm just saying.

Grace In Small Things: Part 111 of 365

Because I Said So