“Ugh, I feel like a zombie,” my wife said, crashing facedown onto the bed.
“Nonsense,” I said, surreptitiously checking her skin for a greyish pallor. She had been saying that sort of thing for about a week now and although I never truly believed her, I kept a baseball bat by my side of the bed.
“I’m just so tired. I never get enough sleep. I just wish there was a cave I could crawl into and sleep for a month.”
I’ve never been really big on metaphors, so I googled “caves for rent”. There were a surprisingly large numbers of results: some absurd, some merely expensive. To narrow it down, I typed, “just a cave to sleep in for a month”. One result came up.
ARE YOU TIRED OF TOO MUCH LIGHT? WANT TO HIDE FROM DEBT COLLECTORS?
TRYING TO NURTURE YOUR INNER TROGLODYTE?
SLEEPY BEAR CAVE RESORTS HAS IT ALL!!!!!
I wasn’t sure what a troglodyte was, but the ad sounded enthusiastic and anyone who used five exclamations points in a row had to be sincere. I called the number.
A week later, I packed my wife’s bag while she was in the bathroom and told her we were taking a ride. She wouldn’t get in the car until I gave her some explanation, so I said we were going for ice cream. Then I felt like a jerk, so I really did stop and got some. We were almost finished our cones when we pulled up to the cave I had rented. It was just a dark hole coming out of the side of a hill with a steel door inset into the entrance.“What’s this?” she asked. “Are you going to kill me and throw my body in a cave?”
“Surprise!” I said and then had to explain I wasn’t referring to killing her.
“So . . . you’re going to lock me in a dark hole?” she asked hesitantly.
“Well . . . yeah, but not in those exact words. I rented you a cave. You said you wanted to sleep in a cave for a month. I booked it for a month, but they threw in an extra week free. Food’s provided and there’s—I checked the brochure I had pushed up my sleeve—natural air conditioning.”
“So . . . you want to lock me in a dark cave all by myself for five weeks?” I couldn’t interpret the expression on her face, but my confidence in the merits of my plan was beginning to be shaken; even more so when I saw tears forming in her eyes.
“Well, honey, you know—”
“Thank you!” she cried. “Thank you so, so much! I love you.” She threw her arms around me, gave me a quick kiss and then ran off towards the cave entrance, suitcase in hand. She pulled the huge steel door shut and it made a loud clang as it locked.
I got back into the car with a self-satisfied smile. Now it was just me for five weeks, just like when I was a bachelor.
Uh, I guess I’ll have to cook for myself. Well, no getting around that. I liked ramen.
And do the laundry and dishes. Ugh. Maybe I could make a big pile for five weeks.
No sex for five weeks. Dang. Dang, dang, dang.
I jumped out of the car and pounded on the door of the cave. “Hey, honey! I was thinking, why don’t we put up dark curtains in the bedroom. I can try to snore less . . . sometimes. Honey?”
There was no answer. I turned and sadly got back in the car.