Point of View: Atonement

I was sure she would not miss the irony in this

   Having snapped when I should have buttoned my lip, I thought the next day of ways I could make amends, how I could patch things up, as it were.
    I would begin by fixing the liquor cabinet door that’s remained awkwardly ajar lately. Step one in working my way back into her good graces.
    “It’s not perfect,” I began in alluding to my good intentions a half-hour later, “but it’s better than it was.”
    Her gentle reply led me to believe that I was beginning to be cut some slack. Encouraged, I returned to work to find that I, the screwup, had spoken too soon — the door still remained askew. But things were better than they were.
    I alit next on the blinking fluorescent lights over the washer and dryer in the dim basement. I would go to the hardware store and replace them!
    This task I was to carry out to perfection, and while I was down in the village getting the lights, I thought of something that she might really like. I would go to BookHampton and get her that new book of E.O. Wilson’s she’d spoken of, the one about how the rapid evolution of the human species could be traced to how well we’ve gotten along!
    A repentant flippant fly, I was sure she would not miss the irony in this.
    Once home, after having put in the lights, I took the wet things out of the washer, put them in the dryer, and brought up the dry things and folded them on the dining table. Then I put the new book atop the washer and turned out the lights in the cellar.
    When she got back from her mother’s, I said I’d gotten the new lights but had forgotten — this she found entirely credible — to put the wet things in the dryer.
    Not to worry, she would do it, she said, descending the stairs.
    The discovery of the book atop the washer had been a pleasant surprise, as had been the fact that the wet things were tossing about in the dryer.
    I was on my way to being forgiven.
    How perverse, I thought, that I’d been inspired so to act after saying something mean.
    And so the at-times out-of-sorts sportswriter, the emotive votary, made himself resolve not to play this game again.