There are some things a man should do alone. Watch the game. Go out for a drink with the guys. Grapple with his inner self as the milky blue light of the full moon strikes his skin and triggers the ancient strain of lycanthropy that flows through his veins, forcing his body to undergo a horrific and excruciating transformation from normal man to savage, bloodthirsty wolf-beast.
I've told Jenny a million times that at the end of the lunar cycle I just need to be by myself in a reinforced steel cage barely capable of withstanding superhuman strength. But every time it's the same thing: She stands there paralyzed with fear, not running for safety, as if she hadn't seen me in the throes of this terrible curse every month for the past year.
Women! Why do they always insist on sticking around when you're turning into a werewolf?
Granted, occasionally we both lose track of time until one evening the clouds part and the fog breaks and I realize that I've forgotten to check my day planner—yet again—and have also put Jenny in grave danger. I always tell her, explicitly, "Run! Run away for the love of God, aaaaaagh, run!" Now, I don't want to yell at her, but I don't have much choice, what with my back muscles tearing through my shirt. She's just going to run away as soon as the transformation is complete anyway, so why not listen to me and get a head start for once, rather than ask in muted horror what's happening to me as my nose and mouth painfully extend to 20 times their original size.
And she's the one who always says communication is key.
Don't get me wrong. She's a sweetheart. When I'm sick, she's right there with her homemade chicken soup, and she always knows what to say to cheer me up when I'm blue. It's just hard getting her to understand that when my eyes turn a bright yellow and hair sprouts from my arms, back, and neck and I tell her in what's left of my normal voice to get out of there, now, before it's too late, she should do it. Right away.
She doesn't seem to get it that I love her very much, but sometimes I'm not myself and my hand bones contort into razor-sharp claws, and I simply cannot ask her to run for her life in a calmer tone. It might hurt her feelings, but I'd hate to rip her flesh to ribbons as I howl in ecstasy, my hot breath rising like smoke in the night sky. Is that what she wants?
She acts like it doesn't break my heart to know that I hurt her feelings. Or that I slowly stalked her after she tripped and fell, snarling fiercely with an intense yearning to let the warm vermillion blood spill from her throat, only to be stopped at the last moment by a hunter, or random avalanche, or another werewolf looking to prove his dominance. If she'd pay attention to me, I wouldn't have to chase her through the cemetery in the first place. Why is it so hard for her to understand this?
I would never tell this to Jenny, but she could take a page out of my ex-girlfriend Cynthia's book. As soon as I showed the slightest sign that fangs were about to extend from my gums—bam—she was out of there. Unlike Jenny, she could really move, even in high heels. In the end, Cynthia was a little too clingy and way too clumsy with her car keys when being hunted down. But she didn't even mind when I came home the next morning dressed in tatters and reeking of animal urine.
But Jenny and I obviously have some issues to work out. Look, I know I'm no prince: Sometimes I'm impatient with her, and I can be overly critical of her cooking. But she has to realize that this is a two-way street. You know, there's a time of the month when I can't stand to be around her, either. Do I sit there asking fool questions? No, I go bowling with friends or read a book or, depending on the day, chain myself to a wall to spare the citizens of this town.
Maybe we can come up with a compromise. The transformation usually takes three agonizing minutes, so she could spend one minute fretting over me, and the other two running for safety and screaming at the top of her lungs. I don't know. I'm trying to be patient and make this work, but sometimes, I swear, she's so stubborn I could just kill her.