Neither Paul nor I used it. I know that Aubrey made dinner last night and used some ham, but no pastrami. I thought.
"Does anyone know what happened to the pastrami that was in here?"
"I don't," I said, but I knew that Aubrey had used some meat.
"Aubrey, last night did you use the pastrami to cook with?"
She turned from the computer.
"No." She looked off, thinking. "But Maggie used it to make Joey a sandwich yesterday."
Ah. The babysitter.
Steve raised his voice.
"Well, we need to do something about this." He waved the remaining bag of deli meat in front of him. "I just bought this using my last $10, expecting that their would be some when I needed it and now it's gone!"
"Steve," I shook my head. This is number three on the food confrontations. "We've asked you to put your name on it. If you don't want us using it, put your name on it."
He rubbed his face vigorously with his hands.
"Sorry." But I sort-of wasn't.
"Ok. I'll just start doing that," he said.
We turned away. Him to finish sandwich-making and me to make the coffee.
While he was upstairs I emptied the dishwasher, re-filled it, started it and wiped down the counters, throwing away trash as I went around the kitchen.
Later he asks about a paper cup he'd set on the counter.
I close my eyes and drop my shoulders forward with exasperation. I look him in the eye.
"I thought it was trash."
He fished it out and mumbled and chuckled (though not jovially, more like hysterically) about "weird energy" in the kitchen this morning.
"It's just that there's stuff all over the counters for days and I set one thing down and it gets thrown away."
Later again, Paul asks him what kind of pastrami it was. He wants to replace it. (I don't think we should have to, personally.)
"Oh. Just Winco stuff. You don't have to. It was just a couple dollars."
"I don't mind. My kid ate it. I'll replace it. But I do think you should put your name on it."
"Well, I was thinking maybe I could have a drawer in the fridge that was just mine." (Brilliant idea. One I thought of last month and offered to him -- which he turned down.)
"Great," Paul said.
Then Steve hugged us good-bye.
I'm a little irritated.