Dammit! Each and every time...it never fails...
I call out from the bedroom, trying to sound as innocent as possible. "Why no, Corb, I didn't. How could you possibly think something like that?"
Footsteps, moving closer to where I lay. A more suspicious tone. "You did, didn't you?"
I can feel him hovering in the doorway, but decide to play it cool and keep my attention focused on Mark Twain. "I told you, I didn't do it. But why on earth would you think I did?"
"I keep all my stuff in the bathroom cabinet lined up in a certain way. Right now, the deodorant's facing in the wrong direction."
I look up from my book. Even tone, Teddy, even tone. Sound surprised...surprised, yeah, that's the ticket. "Well, that's kind of strange."
"What?" asked Corb. "That the deodorant's been moved or that I keep all the stuff in the cabinet all lined up in a certain order?"
I smile and move back to reading in bed. "Both."
Three days later. Same bed, same book, same us.
His voice, from the doorway again. "Ted, are you trying to drive me crazy?"
I'm a little confused. "What?"
"Are you REALLY not using my deodorant? Because either you are, or there's a ghost in our apartment that's playing with my head."
I can't help but smile. "So you think there's a ghost in the apartment that likes using your deodorant?"
"Wow, that one mighty nice smelling ghost."
"Hey, maybe it gets sweaty there, hovering around in the afterlife..."
"Ted!" He pauses and stands there, watching me smirk. He smirks back, now convinced. "So you have been using it, haven't you?"
I slam the book down. "Oh my God! I don't believe you!"
"I don't believe you!"
I rise from the bed, move right over to him, get in his face. "So the other day, I ran out of deodorant, see, and okay, maybe I did use your stinking deodorant, just one time--"
"Aha! I knew it!"
"--but ever since then, because you're such a freak about order, and you had to say something threeeee minutes after I did it, and who the fuck else knows exactly which way their deodorant is facing on this whole entire planet--"
"It's just my thing! I place everything all in the same direction, so if something's moved--"
"It's freakish! It's like that psycopath in that horrible Julia Roberts movie, Sleeping with the Enemy. You know, the guy who sneaks in and organizes her canned goods from A to Z? I suppose you alphabetize your toiletries, too?"
"No, of course not." Beat beat beat. "That would be strange."
I poke the big guy in the chest, amused beyond belief. "Strange? And you don't think that keeping your toilet stuff lined up in the same direction and then asking around the minute something's moved ISN'T strange? Do you know, I've spent the past three days using Theo's Red Bull deodorant, because I was afraid of using yours? Because I knew that with your toiletry super powers you'd be able to know within five minutes that I was scraping your stuff under my pits? Do you know that I've been forced to smell like a teen-age boy for the past three days, just because of you? HUH?"
"I don't have toiletry super powers." His voice, kind of sulky. "I like to keep things neat, that's all."
"Neat. Freakishly OCD, more like it."
"It's not OCD!" Then he grins, and turns away from me. "That much."
"You should have a big old T on your chest. Toiletetry man. Faster than a speeding plunger! More powerful than a misplaced bottle of cologne. "
" Heh. Hey, you're not going to write about this tomorrow, are you?"
Write about it. As if!