Okay, so he had made a mistake. Anyone can make a mistake. You don’t have to be old to make a mistake. You can be young and still make a mistake. The only difference is that no one stands around bitching about it and telling you how stupid you are and how you could have burned down the whole damn house and then goes on and on about it like you can’t hear or comprehend or put two-and-damn-two together anymore. It was just a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes.
Popcorn. That’s all it was. Or all he meant it to be, anyway. He had a taste for popcorn. Not this dry, super salty shit in a microwave bag that they sell nowadays, but popcorn, real popcorn, the way his mother used to make it. You put some butter in the bottom of a skillet, you heat it up, you pour in just enough of the un-popped kernels to cover the bottom of the pan, and then clamp on a lid before the fireworks start. It’s fun, and it tastes better, and you can salt it to taste and butter it to taste. And then you have something – something you’ve made yourself – something that took some care – and you can pour it in a bowl big enough for everyone and get a coke and go sit down and watch your movie or the TV or whatever the hell.
The point is, he didn’t mean to forget about the damn popcorn! Who puts popcorn on to pop and then purposely decides to forget about it? Talk about stupid. Who’s the stupid one here?
And so this is what had driven him to the end of his rope. Popcorn. He walked out the door, along with the smoke, both of them billowing angrily, and slammed the door behind him even as she, still quacking unending complaints – I cannot believe it! What were you thinking! – threw open windows, dramatically tore back the damn sashes and all that, and announced everything to everyone in the whole damn neighborhood; and moreover, yes, moreover, let the snow come blowing in through every possible entry.
Now, how stupid is that?