So Many Questions?

by Todd Maupin

What had I been thinking that night? Why did I continue doing this to myself? When would I ever learn?

What time was it? What day was it? What happened to my alarm clock? Why didn't I just use my phone for this like everyone else? Why did my apartment look like such a disaster? 

Was this the worst headache I have ever had? How much did I drink? What did I drink? Was drinking all that I did?

Who was that knocking? What could they possibly have wanted? Why did my feet refuse to cooperate? When had standing up become so difficult? Was everything supposed to be spinning? Was this the right way to the door? Should I have taken smaller steps? Was there something I could hang onto?

Why did the latch have to be so complicated? Why did my fingers not do what I wanted them to do? Were locks really worth all of this effort? Why were they still knocking? Why wouldn't they go away?

“Who is it?” Why did they make these peepholes so impossible to use?

“Mark?” Did I recognize that voice? How did she know my name?

What was she doing here? What was her name? What was Superman's mom's name? Batman's mom? Martha?

“Martha?” Was I wrong? Did she look like a Martha?

“You thought my name was Martha?” So, it's not Martha?

“Margaret?” Why was she smiling? Was I correct? Why wouldn't she just tell me her name and what she wanted?

“Are you my neighbor in 3D?”

“Mark, isn't everyone in 3D now?” Was she making fun of me? How was I supposed to respond to that? Was she single? Why could I not stay focused? Did she realize I was staring?

“Mark, can you help me?” Why was she saying my name again? Why did she have a measuring cup in her hand? Why does anyone have a measuring cup?

“What can I do for you, Margaret?” Did I really want to help her? Would she just go away so I could go back to sleep? Was she wearing a ring? Was it noticeable that I was looking for one?

“Do you have a cup of sugar I can borrow?” Was this 1957? Why didn't she just order some from Amozing, or use some app to bring it to her? Where did I leave my phone?

“Why do you need sugar?” Why did I sound so suspicious? Would she think I thought she was building a bomb? Was she building a bomb?

“Do you like cookies, Mark?” Who doesn't like cookies? Did I have to answer that?

“What kind of cookies, Margaret?” Did it even matter? Why did I ask that?

"Are chocolate chip cookies okay? Mark, are you okay? Rough night?”

Rough night? Was that a question? Was it any of her business? Was she vetting my sugar? Did I even have sugar? Was there an easier way to do this?

“Who are you to judge how I should normally look?” Did I just say that out loud? Was that my headache talking? Why did she choose to do this right then of all times?

“What did you say, Mark?” Did she really not hear me? Or was she testing me? Why was she standing so close to me? Was she wearing perfume?

“How bad do I look?” Did I really want her to tell me? Why was she taking so long to answer?

“Mark, do you know that game show that the Canadian guy hosts where everything has to be in the form of a question?” What was she talking about? What did this have to do with anything?

“Do you mean Jeopardy?” What else could she have meant? Was this really happening?

“Mark, doesn't the name end with an exclamation point? Jeopardy!?”

“Maybe?” So? What was the point of pointing out an exclamation point? Why was she going on about this? Why did she use my name again? Why was I intrigued by her?

“Do you watch that show?” What did she think? Was I 80 years old? Did I watch that show? Did I watch Perry Mason?

“What about it?” Why was I supposed to care about this? Was she messing with me?

“Do you how that show only has objective questions? Is asking someone ‘do I look bad' an objective question?” Why was she subjecting me to this? Who was this woman? What was wrong with her? Why did I feel drawn to her?

“Do you still want that sugar?” Would I be able to go back to sleep after this? Did I have any aspirin?

“It's not any trouble? Are you sure?” Didn't she realize it was too late to be asking me that? Or too early? What time was it?

“Do you want to come in or wait out here?” Why wouldn't this headache go away?

“Can I come in? Don't you think the hallway is a little scary with the shadows?” Was she flirting with me? Had she always been this attractive? How old was she? 

“Why don't you come in then?” I couldn't leave her out in the hall, could I? With the scary shadows?

“Why don't you make yourself at home why I go look for the sugar?” When was the last time I bought sugar? Had I ever bought sugar?

Where would I put sugar if I had it? In this cabinet? In this drawer? In the refrigerator? Would I freeze sugar? Does anyone freeze sugar?

“Do you need any help in there?” Who was she, the sugar fairy? Had she designed my kitchen?

“Mark, what's this poster? Who's on first? Who are these guys? What does it mean?” Did she really not know? Should I have told her that what is on second? How could she present a useless dissertation about Jeopardy! and not know about Abbott and Costello?

“You don't know that comedy routine?” Was she kidding me? Why was she shaking her head? Has she been living in a cave that only runs episodes of Jeopardy!?

“What is it?” Did she really want me to explain this when I had a splitting headache? If I just gave her some sugar would she leave? Did I really want her to leave?

“Is brown sugar okay?” Would she be impressed that I have brown sugar? Did that make me cool and trendy? A progressive sugar rebel or something?

“Do I have a recipe that uses brown sugar?” Was she talking to me? Did she expect me to know? Didn't she know that there was an internet that was full of recipes and other things to occupy her while I could have been sleeping? Was I wrong?

“Margaret, why don't you come back later this evening with some cookies? We can watch Who's on First? Would you like that?” Did I really just invite her over for the evening? What did I have to lose? Why had I never asked her out before?

“Is 7pm okay?” She was asking me? Did it even matter? Would I feel better by then?

“What can I have for us that will go with the cookies? Milk? Wine? Beer?” What goes with cookies?

“Why don't you let me take care of everything, Mark? Okay?” Was it really this easy? A woman was coming over with cookies and I didn't have to do anything?”

How did I ever fall back asleep after all of that? Was that extra sleep enough to cure my headache? Who ever said natural remedies never work?

Now where was I? What happened next? Do you mind me skipping ahead a bit?

How far did we go last night thanks to some cookies and Abbott and Costello? I don't know, third base?

Copyright 2023 by Todd Maupin