Zoe made Joe crazy. Not being in love, life is a bowl of cherries, type of crazy, but a boiling insipid insanity that gathered like drips from a leaky faucet at the bottom of his mind.
Crazy is as crazy does, and perhaps his craziness was in picking Zoe in the first place. He should have known, he kept saying to himself, that life with Zoe wasn’t going to be easy. But did she have to remind him of this every second of the day?
Joe and Zoe, Zoe and Joe, at first those words slipped off of his lips in glorious globules of love. Now all day and all night, all he could hear was Zoe, Zoe, Zoe, with Joe struggling to escape from any association with her name.
Zoe’s screechy voice would invade his space constantly, a frenzied insistence that hopped from one moment to another. He listened, at first, with rapt attention. In fact, early on, he wanted to hear her every second of the day. What a fool he was, he actually encouraged her, saying dangerous things like tell me a story, sing me a song, keep talking, say anything.
Initially, Zoe’s zaniness was exciting, it opened up his secure little world to other possibilities. His world became Zoe’s world, the world of Great Happiness, Great Adventures, Great Hope — And yet, on the otherside, when living in a world of such extremes, comes even Greater Awareness, Greater Responsibilities, Greater Pain. But, since he was new in this world, he was pleased with his girlfriend’s apparent looniness, pleased with her sharp offense against blandness. At first, he didn’t know any better, he told himself.
Yet, the drip, drip, dripness of her twenty-four hours “life is a stage” attitude began to tire him. It snuck up on him, the exhaustion slowly eating at his tolerance, replacing his craving for Zoe with a craving for peace.
One May afternoon, in the comfort of his own home, Zoe, seemingly for no reason, stopped preparing the pizza muffins, and swiftly threw them at him. He stared down at his feet and saw the pizza sauce dripping of off the muffin, onto his nice clean white tennis shoes. He considered, for a moment, how much that muffin was worth, and pushed out of his mind the thought that perhaps it was still edible. Alas, it was a pizza muffin wasted. He was indignant; he was enraged. How dare she do this to his pizza muffin? Did she think that pizza muffins…