I had been single for about seven weeks. Ever since my girlfriend Lisa Number Three had vanished. Well, she didn’t exactly vanish as much as she had moved to Los Angeles to begin her career. Lisa Number Three had aspirations of being a stunt woman for the movies. She used to practice stunts all the time so she would be prepared for the real deal. I can’t say I was sorry to see her go. I had grown weary of worrying about her and patching her up. She had more guts than she had sense.
One day I had come home and found her getting ready to take a swan dive off the roof of my house onto a trampoline that was set up in the front yard. Before I could stop her, Lisa Number Three cannonballed off the roof, hit the trampoline and bounced so high she ended up in the neighbor’s walnut tree. I thought she was dead, judging by the way she was draped over a branch, but the fire department pulled her down and said she had just got the wind knocked out of her.
It wasn’t the roof-diving or the lighting herself on fire that made me break up with her. I broke up with her the day I found out she was going bald. She had that weird OCD thing where she pulled out her own hair and ate it. She was a master at the comb-over technique so I hadn’t ever noticed it in the six months she had lived with me. I only found out because of the couch.
“What happened to the couch?” I asked her one night.
“What d’ya mean?” she asked back.
I pointed at the back cushions of the green cloth couch and said, “Has Asscat been clawing at the cushions?” (Lisa Number Three had a devil cat that I called Asscat just to piss her off. I called him this because he killed all the squirrels in the yard and ate all of them except for their asses. I was forever having to shovel up squirrel asses and bury them.)
She plopped down on the couch and buried her face in her hands, sobbing loudly. “Now you know,” she cried. “I’m a bad bad person.”
“What exactly do I know?” I asked, patting her gently on the knee.
“I eat the couch… I can’t help myself. I get stressed out and eat the couch,” she sputtered.
I laughed. “You know what it just sounded like you said?”
She looked at me through her tears.
“It sounded like you just said that you eat the couch.” I laughed at the stupidity of it.
She reached behind her and grabbed a handful of the yellow foam sticking out of the ripped cushion and stuffed it in her mouth. She chewed. And swallowed.
“I do eat the couch,” she said.
I stopped laughing. I went to my office, shut and locked the door, sat at my desk, put my hands over my ears and did my own rendition of Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Over the next few days, I surreptitiously shadowed her around the house. I caught her eating the couch, her own hair, a hot pad, the ironing board cover and even the lint out of the dryer.
I suspected she was the one coughing up hairballs under the bed.
I broke up with her the day I noticed Asscat was sporting some bald patches.
I was kind of a bitch the day she moved out. All her crap was piled into her Chevy van and she was sitting behind the wheel studying the road atlas. I noticed that she had highlighted I-40 straight to Los Angeles. She couldn’t get lost unless she made a turn.
“You got everything?” I asked. But what I really meant was “Did you pack Asscat, ’cause I don’t want custody of him.”
“Yeah,” she mumbled, not looking at me.
It was weird, but ever since she ate her eyebrows, I couldn’t read her expression. I didn’t know if she was sad or mad.
“Sure you don’t want to take the couch? You might want a snack on the way,” I said.
She flipped me off and backed out of the driveway.
I guess she was mad.
And that was the end of Lisa Number Three.