Theme: Yes, AND…
“Sing? To you? Here? Now?”
Lesley shrugged, a full-bodied motion that filled the remaining space of the small lift. “You know of a better place than here and now?”
If Dru was being honest with herself, “here and now” was the only stable place she could think of. There was the past, which evaded her with every passing moment. There was the future, which somehow seemed tethered to letting go of the past. The present, however, felt steady and sure. The present didn’t judge her or beg her to remember. The present just was.
The present is a present, she thought, smiling slightly. Lesley furrowed her eyebrows, presumably confused by Drucilla’s smile. The tiny elevator whirred and stirred, finally coming to a cranky halt on her floor. The doors creaked open to a dim, yet friendly-looking hallway — bright golden light fixtures; innocuous wallpaper; worn, gray carpet. Dru knew the door to her flat was to the right, the last one at the end of the hall. She stepped out, deciding in a split second to throw caution to the wind and invite Lesley in — presumed out-of-town flatmates be damned. Her face flushed, “C’mon then. My place has great acoustics”.
For a moment, Dru forgot to feel uncomfortable. She forgot to feel off-kilter and amnestic. She simply went through the motions of walking down the hallway, unlocking the door, coming home. When she realized she had gone into autopilot like any normal person, she let out a long, slow breath. It was nice to not notice, even for just a moment.
Lesley didn’t notice Drucilla’s mundane achievement. She was too busy marveling at the sight of the kitchen counter — less of the counter itself and more of what the counter held.
Peanut butter. Jar after jar after jar. Different brands and different flavors and different sizes. Crunchy, creamy, natural, no-stir; with honey, with chocolate, with less fat; without salt. A veritable rainbow of roasted nutty goodness.
“What in the-” Lesley started.
“It’s the one thing I know I like,” Drucilla blurted out, so quickly it sound like one long word instead of an explanation. It felt like a confession, like she had laid her soul bare for the first time. This was her one truth, as trivial as it may be. Peanut butter equals delicious.
Lesley reached over, revealing a tattoo of the number 57 on her wrist, and picked up a jar at random. “Spicy peanut butter?” she asked with a quirk in her brow.
Dru winced. “That was an experiment gone terribly awry. But I gave it a shot anyway.”
“Sounds like life, more or less.” She replaced that jar and picked up another— one with chunks of cookie dough mixed in. “Can I try some of this?”
“Be my guest!” Dru pulled two spoons from the silverware drawer. When she handed one spoon to Lesley, their fingers brushed together. Drucilla chose a white chocolate blend that was quickly becoming her favorite late night snack, and together, they walked into the living room and flopped down on the sofa.
“Cheers,” they said in unison, clinking their spoons together in a nutty toast. They ate in a comfortable silence, passing the jars back and forth between them as if that had been their agreement from the start.
“Well now,” Lesley said some time later in a sticky peanut buttery voice. “I think you owe me a song.”