"Oh darn." Skylar was scrolling through his phone when he said it.

"No reservations?" I asked him.

"None. Well, none before 7:30, anyway."

I was disappointed. We had been wanting to try that new restaurant in our neighborhood for a while. "Shoot. Well, we'll just have to go another night."

A friend was at our house and overheard the exchange. "Why can't you guys go at 7:30?" she asked to snickers.

"We're not in Spain." I told her.

She seemed puzzled, and I guess I get it. I'm not sure when we became like this, really. There was a time, now a lifetime ago, back in 2016 or so, when we didn't even start making evening plans on a Friday until 9:00 PM.

"What should we do tonight?" one of us would routinely ask, sometimes as late as 10:30.

Last week we decided to go see a movie. "Oh, we wouldn't get out until nearly 11:00," I told Skylar when he suggested the 8:30 showing.

"Ah. Good point." He was already scrolling through other listings to find one that started at 5:45.

"I wish we could order Indian food tonight," he mumbled a week or two ago. "But it's just not worth it." He put his hand up high on his chest and patted himself twice in an unspoken explanation for the culinary objection.

"Not even with TUMS?" I offered as a possible chaser, a much different kind and in a vastly different context than those I'd have suggested eight years ago.

"Not even then." His tone was one of forfeiture. "Not if I want to sleep tonight."

I was as concerned with him sleeping as he was. Didn't want him to keep me up. "I didn't fall asleep until 11:00 last night. I'll be in recovery for days," I told him.

"Did you see--"

"The snowpack report on KSL?" I interrupted him. "Yeah, I look at it first thing every morning. We really need some new storms to come in."

Then we took turns informing one another what several other local meteorologists we had searched out had predicted in the last 24 hours. "The only thing you can count on with the weather is that it's unpredictable, heh heh," one of us said.

"You sound like your father," the other responded.

"If we start that documentary we've been wanting to watch at 6:00, we can be in bed before 9:00," I told Skylar on Saturday.

"Which documentary?" He had apparently already forgotten our prior conversation. Or maybe I misremembered that I had told him about this.

"Oh it's that one that was recommended by NPR. I don't remember what it's called. It's narrated by that woman in that movie we liked. The one who did that special on PBS about unions."

"Oh I love her," Skylar responded.

We finished our tea around the time the documentary ended and then we shook a couple of melatonin into each of our right hands. "The extended release 5 milligrams have been just perfect lately," Skylar muttered as he tossed them into his mouth, threw his head back, and gulped half a glass of water like he was in a beer-drinking competition at a frat party.

We climbed into bed and dozed off to sleep, before being awoken by the sounds of youthful shenanigans. It was now 11:00.

A moment later Skylar called the police and informed them "a crowd of young people" had gathered at a house up the street and were "blasting impolite music!"

"It looks like they are already breaking up the party," he said, apologetically, to the woman on the phone, noticing that the music was being shut off and the dozen or so college kids had started leaving in their cars. Skylar and the 911 operator chatted a moment or two longer and then he disconnected the call.

"When did we become these people?" I whispered to Skylar as he climbed back into bed.

"What people?" he asked.

"The kind who watch documentaries knowing they'll fall asleep during them. The kind who can't eat normal food without medical intervention. The kind who watch the weather channel for entertainment. The kind who call the police on people having a good time."

"Huh." Skylar seemed to be thinking about all of this for the first time.

"I used to be fun." I informed him. "I used to shut down clubs. I once got arrested in Jordan. I once danced barefoot in a bar for four straight hours and the live band pulled me onto the stage and had me sing with them. Yesterday I cancelled plans because I was worried about traffic. The plans were a knitting club two miles away."

"Are you disappointed with what your life has become?" Skylar whispered back at me. He grabbed my hand as I lay next to him, face to face.

We could hear the sounds of two breathing dogs sleeping down on our legs, competing with the hum of the humidifier at the corner of the room. I thought about how we'd walk to brunch together in the morning. And then we planned to go buy a new carpet cleaner after that. Skylar found one with good reviews online. That evening I'd cook a new vegan recipe. We're still trying to eat fewer animal products. We'd open a bottle of wine, and we'd catch up on the figure skating in the Olympics until 9:30 or so.

Was I disappointed with what my life had become?

"Hell no," I responded to his question.

"Me neither." I was already half asleep again when he whispered it.

Please enjoy this week's Strangerville:

This time in Strangerville, Eli had a mishap with self-tanner, Meg's children are using robots to torture their mother, and a woman stops by the studio to talk about the loss of a person who had an impact on many.


Kris, by Jerilyn Hassell Pool (music by Austin Moffa)

~It Just Gets Stranger