“What,” he began without so much as a hello, his voice blustering out of the little phone, “is the worst place they could put me?”  I held the phone away from my ear.  Good reception for a change.  “Go on, tell me.  What’s the worst place they could have parked my ass?”

Is this a test? I thought. “Newark?”

“A bed and breakfast!  A goddamned bed and breakfast!”  I had to grin.  For his profanity and blustering, Ben was having fun telling me this.  “It’s ruffles and knick-knacks everywhere.  Smells like cat piss and candles.  There’s a goddamned wedding dress on the wall!  A wedding dress!  And I didn’t even get to deflower the bride!  Though, by the looks of it, that mighta been a while ago.”

I was laughing now.  “Oh, honey, I’m sorry.”

“I’m scared to get on the bed, it might collapse.”

“They don’t expect you to stay there until Thursday, do they?”

“Naw, this little screwup is supposed to get rectified tomorrow, but it kinda burns my ass.  These reservations were made a month ago.  I might smother to death in here.  If you don’t hear from me tonight, that’s what happened.”

“Aw, my poor baby.  I have to get back to work, honey, but I hope you survive your frilly hell.”

“Me too, honey, but it’s questionable.  Love you. Bye.”

I hung up and turned back to the monitor, glancing at the status of the call center to make sure all was well, but still smiling.  Some women would say the amount of time Ben spent away from home was excessive, and for their men maybe that would be true.  I’m not saying that I want him gone or don’t crave every minute I can get, but the homebody type, he ain’t.

Ben works for himself, and his work takes him far and wide, which I am sure is to his liking.  It would be to mine, too, but I’m not an expert in anything people would pay me money to do consulting and testifying about, so I’m a bit stuck at present.  Any problem I have with his job is more about envy than abandonment.