After nine months of dating, Wil and I knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, so my two boys and I moved in with him. It was a weird transition for me going from having a whole closet and a whole bed to myself for the past three years to sharing it with someone. It was also REALLY difficult to transition from being the only adult in the house responsible for my two kids to learning to share that responsibility. As a kid myself, I could literally sleep through anything, anywhere. But once I became a single parent, my mom ears kicked into overdrive and I could hear, see, and smell anything and everything in my sleep. This was a good skill to have when my tiny children needed me, but I never unlearned this mom ear skill. Even to this day, with my kids having moved out years ago, I have to sleep with an eye mask on and silicone earplugs in and have a white noise machine going or I can hear my cat walk across the floor on the other side of my house. It’s crazy.
After several months of us living together, I decided I wanted to go back to cosmetology school to finish the program and get my state board license. I had started school right after my divorce from my kids’ biological father, but trying to waitress during the day, go to school at night, and take care of two tiny kids on my own finally had become too much when my mom passed away when I had only completed a third of the school program. I stopped school and just focused on taking care of my kids and paying my bills by being a waitress. I knew I would finish school someday, and since the state allows you to keep the hours you’ve already completed (state requires 1600 hours for completion), I would just go back when I was ready. I enrolled to go full-time during the day and just work part-time at night so I could finish school faster and get started on the career I’d always wanted. It was exciting and exhausting. There were many nights I was so exhausted but couldn’t sleep because every little thing would still wake me up. One night in particular will always stand out in my mind.
By this time, Wil was 24 and I was 27. Wil had been living on his own since he was 18, so he knew how to cook some basic stuff. One unfortunate meal he used to make for himself way too often was this thing he called “Chili Mac.” He would take leftover chili he’d made and mix it in with Kraft macaroni and cheese from a box. Now, I get what you’re thinking. “Hey, this sounds like the best bachelor chow EVER.” You’d be right. Except for the part where this Chili Mac would give Wil the most toxic farts in the HISTORY OF ANYTHING HORRIBLE YOU HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Sometimes he would make this for lunch, so the toxic levels would have already left him by the time I’d gotten home. I would always know this was a meal he had chosen to eat while I was away for the day when I’d come home to see the pile of used matches on the coffee table.
A few times when I had to work late, Wil would eat his Chili Mac for dinner and the aftermath was still an issue when I got home. I would ask him to please not eat that late in the day so I didn’t have to endure it when I got home and he would respond “But it tastes so good!” and give me a sad face like my request was depriving him of one of the greatest joys in his life. One night, after an exhausting day at school followed by a really long and stressful shift at work, I crawled into bed and just wanted a peaceful night of sleep. Wil came to bed shortly after I did so he could read a book and fall asleep with me.
Around 1am, I woke up because Wil had shifted to his side in bed and when he adjusted the covers to go up around his shoulder, he poofed the silent aftermath of his Chili Mac right into my face. I immediately woke up and sat STRAIGHT UP in bed, ready to tell him to please leave the room if he had to fart. He was sound asleep, so I laid back down, angrily turning away from him and shoving my pillow into my face to try and filter the air that was punching me in the nostrils. I was dozing off when it happened again, and again, AND AGAIN. I was delirious from exhaustion and kept tossing and turning trying to find fresh air in the room without much success.
I had to get up at 6am for school. After who knows how many times Wil had woken me with his Chili Mac ass, I was PISSED when I was woken up at 4am to his choke cloud AGAIN while he laid there on his side, peacefully sleeping. In a sleep and room fog haze, I yelled at the top of my voice “LIGHT A FUCKING MATCH!!!” Now, to Wil, who slept through all of his nuclear level releases, he had no idea what was going on but clearly, when he woke to my scream, he knew exactly what had happened. He said nothing. All I heard was the fumbling for the matches on his nightstand followed by a strike on the matchbox, as a flame lit up the room and was blown out. Our Lady of Sulphur had released me from the evil confines of Wil’s wasteland grasp, and I was able to sleep for two hours.
When my alarm went off, I was so tired I felt hungover. I was angry at Wil for how tired I was as I got myself off to school, but by the time I got on the freeway, realizing I felt like shit because my boyfriend kept me awake farting all night became hilarious to me. My yell followed by silence and that match lighting up the room and being blown out replayed in my head all day. I’m sure it was the exhaustion but my god, I laughed harder and harder at that as the day went on. When I came home from school, Wil greeted me at the door and apologized profusely for keeping me awake that night. I accepted his apology on one condition; he never eats Chili Mac again. He gave me the sad face but he agreed. As we climbed into bed that night, I glanced over at his nightstand and saw the book of matches and that one used match. I laughed as I fell asleep with his arms around me.