The Monday Susan disappeared, everything seemed normal—folded laundry in my drawers, clean dishes in the drying rack, and the living-room carpet freshly vacuumed. When dinnertime came and went, I began to wonder about her whereabouts, but it was only the next morning, roughly around breakfast, that I began to think something terrible might have happened.
I know from watching Law & Order that you're supposed to wait 72 hours before reporting a possible abduction, so when I got home from work Tuesday and there was no Susan, I assured myself she was just running late with some errand, and I tried to relax in front of the TV for a bit to take my mind off things. Well, I almost did too good a job, because the next thing I knew, I was at work interviewing a possible accounts-payable assistant, and it was Thursday—or about 68 hours since the mysterious disappearance of my wife.
That afternoon, I had every intention of walking through that door, marching straight to the phone, dialing 9-1-1, and telling that operator, "My wife disappeared Monday evening, leaving the contents of her purse strewn about the carport, and I have neither seen nor heard from her for 72 hours." But then the dog pooped on the carpet, the kids wanted their dinner, and before I knew it, another day had gone by and I hadn't filed that darned report.
Hey, it's not like Susan won't still be missing in the morning.
Anyway, on Friday, I meant to do that missing-persons report along with my insurance renewal, and I would have, but I didn't factor in all the miserable traffic. Geez, when are they finally going to finish widening that stretch of Hollyhock Road? I mean, it's been over a year now! Do they even do anything out there, or are they just hanging out in hard hats?
I jotted down a reminder to myself on the fridge, where Susan used to make the grocery list. But did I ever look at it? No. I swear, it's like I need to make a list to remind myself to look at my list!
I had finally settled on taking care of this whole reporting-my-wife-missing thing on Saturday. I set the alarm for 7 a.m. so I could get a jump start on the day, but I guess I must have hit the snooze button a few times, because when I finally rolled out of bed, it was nearly noon! And the afternoon wasn't any better. While rummaging through the basement trying to find a recent photo of Susan to bring to the station, I discovered we had a leaky water pipe. And that's not the type of thing you can just sit on.
So, there's another Saturday afternoon blown. Sadly, that happens all too often.
In a way, it's a good thing my wife's not around, because, boy, would I be hearing it right about now.
And I don't need anyone giving me a hard time about this. I get enough of that already. The second the kids come in from school, it's one demand after another. "Where's Mommy?" "I want Mommy!" "We're hungry!" "Please, Daddy, please! Call the police about Mommy!"
It's just been one of those weeks. Two of my best account execs left without notice, so I've got dozens of people to interview, and on top of all that, I've been handed the duty of writing our entire 2006 budget. Do I know anything about writing a budget? No.
God, if anything were to happen to her, I don't know what I'd do. This is just the type of thing she usually handles.