Rosewater Jump and her boyfriend have been dating for 18 months.* Edgar likes to go hiking. He likes to hike even when it is 115 degrees outside.** Rosewater indulges this, though inevitably ends up with a migraine because Arizona sun is actually fine-tuned to torture and kill the neurons in your brain. Rosewater likes to go to movies. She likes to see films ranging from arty to blockbuster, no matter the time of year because air-conditioning is a wonderful thing. Edgar is often uncomfortable in movie theaters and finds the time investment frustrating. But they both like to try new food.
The problem is that to Edgar very little is new. He has lived in the Phoenix area most of his 30-odd years. And he used to work in the restaurant industry. This can be understandably frustrating for Rosewater.
Rosewater: La Fontella. Have you ever been there? It’s on Indian School and 44th, I went there last night. It has “real” Italians (like they are from Italy and speak Italian and one was taking a phone call from Italy and talking to his daughter or something) and the food is pretty good. So it’s like American Italian food, but made by people who are obviously Italian. I know you like Italian food, we should go sometime when we are back to going to Italian.
Edgar: Yeah, I’ve been there before. It was nice.
Rosewater: Sigh. I try to make you happy with new things you might like but you are too familiar with this state.
Edgar: But you dress me
At least when Rosewater does take him somewhere, he no longer looks like a missionary. It’s the small victories.
*The relationship sounds nascent when I describe it as being only “18 months” old. Relationships, unlike newborns, are not constantly changing size, spitting up, or screaming what sound like obscenities in some foreign and as yet undeciphered language. Well, they aren’t assuming you don’t live in a frat house. Or a cat house. Or in Scottsdale.
**Dry heat, my ass. You know what else is dry? Your oven. I don’t see anyone clambering to live inside an oven set to 115 degrees, which is just hot enough to ignite your newspaper when you forgot that you left it there after last night’s rainstorm. That’s right. At 115 degrees, things can catch on fire. It’s science.