I live with a coyote. That’s what the Native Americans called people who sneak up and scare you or make prank smoke signals or put their icy hands down your loincloth -- all crimes committed by my sweetheart, Patti. I am sleeping with the enemy.
Patti claims little responsibility for her terrorism. She figures that if she is standing behind you for 10 minutes while you cook a meal and finally turn around and scream, that’s your problem. Never mind that she poses like one of the creepy twins from The Shining.
“Play with us, Jason. Forever and ever and ever...”
Patti definitely has the patience of a coyote. She is willing to wait however long -- behind a door, under the bed, holding the Downward Dog asana. If she could hover on a chord like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, believe me, she would.
Patti likes it most when I go into karate mode like Mr. Furley. It’s so good to her that she jumps up and down like a girl at the circus. One time she turned to me for a high-five!
“Yeah, honey,” I say. “That’s great. Do you know where I put the Xanax?”
Then she reenacts the whole thing, holding her face like The Scream. “This is you. Here. Look.”
I myself do not share the prankster gene. I don’t even have the nerve to throw a surprise party. So it goes.
Patti, on the other hand, will go through the trouble of parking her car around the corner so I think she’s not home. Then I’ll settle in for a bath and eventually come up for air, and WHAM -- The Shining. She may as well write in steam on the bathroom mirror.
Patti, mind you, is an otherwise gentle woman. She takes her tea on the porch and requires a certain amount of slow-dancing. It’s just when she howls at the moon. Ouw-ouw-ouwooo!
One night I was playing guitar in the SUV, our only sound-proof room, when everything started to shake. Once. Twice. On three, I called Patti to see if she felt the earthquake, when I heard her phone outside the car. I knew it to be my call by the circus-music ringtone. I opened the back to find Patti rolling on the ground, laughing so hard that it came in dry heaves.
“I got it on camera,” she said, waving her phone. “I’m gonna post it on Facebook.”
Patti is now onto wet willies, especially at bedtime. Last night she gave me a deep willy and said, “Don’t wipe it ... Don’t ... Dooon’t ...” And I didn’t wipe because that’s the man I’ve become.
I can only assume that Patti does these things because she likes me, the way Regina Walker liked me in third grade when she ratted my hair with Hubba Bubba.
Patti’s crowning moment came last Halloween at Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest, where zombies jump out at every corner. It would be ... Coyote Paradise. Patti laughed so hard that security came over to make sure she was all right.
“Yes,” she said, doubled over. “It’s just that ... Grrrrr.” Patti was mocking a sound I had made after a psycho jumped out of the tree with a chainsaw. Good times.
I’m afraid that Patti is addicted. What’s next? Wedgies? Nipple twisters? The Dutch Oven? All I know is that I tiptoe around the house and sleep with one eye open, spittle in my ear, watching the moon for any sudden changes. Ouw-ouw-ouwooo!