Cosgrove lived in a volatile house, with a bickering wife and frightening children. He would try to come from work and sneak into the basement, where he would cower underneath the thin shield of his newspaper, hoping to be devoured by his armchair. But his wife would always sniff out his presence due to the fact that she forced him to wear the $5 aftershave she bought him at the drug store.
“He will never stand a chance at engaging in wanton sex acts with his secretary so long as he smells like Pinesol,” she thought bitterly as she slapped the bottle with a bow on Father’s Day.
There were plenty of things Cosgrove wanted to do when the five o’clock bell rang. Cosgrove wanted to go home and play catch with his sons, like a normal father might do, but his kids were too violent and always wound up throwing knives and pitch forks instead. Cosgrove wanted to sit in the den with a frosty mug of beer, kick back and watch the game.
But there was no alcohol allowed in the house, and Cosgrove’s wife felt that sporting events promoted violence. Cosgrove didn’t see what that mattered anymore, since his kids predominantly wore fatigues and blew up feral cats in the junk yard down the lane. He couldn’t imagine how a few innings of a ball game had any impact on their inherent need to live a life of rogue commandoes, but he wasn’t one to argue with the wife. She had sharp nails.
And maybe Cosgrove wanted to scratch his damn balls while sitting in the privacy of the bathroom, but he supposed even that was too much to ask.
One day, instead of dodging through the garage door and attempting to slip into the basement undetected, Cosgrove decided to take a stroll through the garden in the backyard. There, he discovered that if he squatted, he would be completely masked by the cattails and sunflowers.
Day after day, he hid in the garden. He was finally able to widdle that pirate ship that he had been dreaming of, but was always interrupted by his nagging wife, who would fling a list of chores at him. “Take out the garbage! Buy me tampons! Castrate the dog!” It was always something with her.
On a Thursday, Cosgrove ate sushi in the garden. He had always wanted to eat sushi, but his wife was strictly against foods of a raw nature and forbade even a longing glance at the sushi shack on Main Street. Cosgrove even downed the contraband rolls with sake. A real treat, when you consider that his wife wouldn’t even allow him to rinse with mouthwash, claiming he would get drunk from it.
It didn’t take long for Cosgrove to realize the best dream of them all. He began bringing his secretary to the garden with him. There, the pungent bouquet equalized the rank stench of astringent which burned off in invisible waves from his neck flesh.
In the garden, Cosgrove could be the man he always wanted to be.
Cosgrove was inspired by one of the drivers at my job, who admits to going home and hiding in the gameroom for as long as possible until his wife discovers him, and who visibly blanched yesterday when she screamed through his cell phone for him to come home. I imagine his weener was tucked timidly between his legs as he obeyed her and left work last night.