Stuart's vocabulary began to grow in ferocity and in color. The combinations became more loaded and more ridiculous as well. "Oh, why don't you just go fuck yourself?" he suggested. That argument was about a wasted trip to the movies when the paper listed the show times incorrectly and I hadn't re-checked by phone.
"Just how do you propose I go about doing that?" I responded in a curious voice, smothering with facile banter the girl-child holding out her arms, crying Love me …
The next day with temper cooled, I would try to conduct a calm discourse. "Please don't say ugly things to me, Stuart, those curse words."
"They're words," he would reply, "that's all. They don't mean a thing."
"But most of what's between us is words," I argued, my voice whining in spite of sensible thoughts, "It's how we communicate."
"They don't mean anything, just steam," he insisted. He was being patient with me.
"Stuart, we don't make bird calls, we don't bark or grunt, we choose words and utter them for a purpose." I was lecturing now, really hitting the pits. "Your words hurt me like stones thrown in my face. They mean everything."
"Oh, c'mon, Ari, get off it, will you?" he snapped, striding out of the room. An accusatory tone was his exit bell. Whines he tolerated well.