Amy was sitting at the kitchen table. She was working on editing a short story that would be published in WORD. You could see the lines in her forehead created by aging and an overabundance of concentration. When Zev walked into the room she didn’t look up. She didn’t even really hear him. Zev placed the deodorant container and the empty package of razors on the counter. He stood there looking down on Amy. Amy looked up at Zev and could immediately tell that something was wrong. His look was indignant and afraid. In a tone that exposed underlying anxiety, Zev asked her why these things were in the trash. Amy played dumb and acted like she knew nothing about it. When Zev told Amy that he had never used these low-life men’s product and didn’t understand how they got in the bathroom trash, she said that there was no way she could know.
Amy had to think fast. Her anxiety and heart rate increased. She was close to the point of being caught and if she was caught her entire life would come crumbling down. Zev would leave her and seek revenge. He would reveal her sexual secrets and be socially humiliated by the man who was once her husband. Her career would be irrevocably damaged, if not destroyed. This is what she feared at least. It was only when Amy was up against deadlines that she would really get the job done. She was not a self-motivator. Her genius needed to be shifted into high gear by circumstances or someone else. Amy worked best when under pressure. She had a mind that worked faster than Zev’s mind. She knew she could out smart him when she needed.
Amy told Zev that some of the writers who came to the house for meetings would use the bathroom before they left. This was not uncommon. Maybe one of them had used the razors and deodorant and then placed it in the trash? This was a reasonable explanation in Zev’s mind. It was a scenario that could believably occur. Zev asked why she didn’t notice that when one of the writers came out of the bathroom with a cleanly shaved face, that he obviously must have just shaved in the bathroom. How could she not know that someone was shaving in their bathroom? Amy told Zev that she didn’t notice that sort of thing. She told Zev that she wasn’t interested in what the writers she worked with looked like. She was too busy for that sort of thing. Work was work. Zev had a hard time believing it. Zev told her that it all seemed a little strange and Amy asked him in a rude tone if he thought she was fucking someone. Zev told her that sometimes it seemed like that but that he didn’t know. Amy felt enraged that Zev would question her integrity even though her integrity was not one of her stronger points. She yelled at Zev for even suggesting that she would be fucking one of the writers she worked with. That would never happen, she told him. How dare he. Amy had enough vitriol in her face to convince a charging army to turn the other way.
Amy was convincing enough in her defense. Zev picked up the package and empty deodorant container and stuck it in the trash. He told her to please not let the people she worked with in their home shave in their bathroom. He found that revolting and disgusting. Zev was not a fan of anyone else’s presence in his house. He was repulsed by the mere suggestion that one of those pathetic and trendy contemporary writers was sitting on his toilet. Amy agreed to be more stringent about her guidelines for using the bathroom and Zev was satisfied with that. Zev told Amy that he was sorry for the misunderstanding and Amy told him that it was ok. Zev left the room with an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was the kind of gnawing feeling a person gets when they can’t seem to find resolution within themselves, no matter how much they want it.
Amy sat at the kitchen table looking dumbly into her computer. She texted Arthur that she couldn’t meet with him that night. Something came up and she needed to lay low for a bit. Arthur responded concerned and upset. Amy told Arthur to never leave any of his shit in her garbage ever again. When Arthur asked her what she meant she told him about what Zev had found. It was then that Arthur remembered putting those things in the trash. He felt a wave of fear come over him. Had he blown it? He asked Amy if everything was alright and Amy told him that he was getting too comfortable at her house and he needed to stay on his game. Arthur told her that he would and that he felt like an idiot. Amy said that it was ok. It wasn’t his fault. She would see him in two days. They already had their next date made. She told Arthur that she had just averted catastrophe. She didn’t bother telling him that she had just deceived and pathologically lied to her husband. Arthur would not have minded that.