The ribs were already pre-braised and I was tasting the sauce as Amy walked in the door. I poured it into the Bar-B-Q Sauce jar, most of it blorping onto the counter. Amy nagged about the mess. I drew the letters "BBQ" into the sauce on the counter and set the jar squarely in it. I wanted to infuse the whole house, actually. I pretended to be careless and swiped my hand on the counter reaching for a paper towel, spattering the stove. I glanced at Amy for a second, but she was already staring at me and met my eyes. She shook her head and evaluated the kitchen while chewing on a hangnail.
I dipped the brush into the jar and painted her arm. She frowned, scraped a bit off the counter and threw it at my pant leg. I did the same, but with my eyes closed in case of spatter; the vinegar could potentially sting. She yelped as it hit her head: a drippy hat. I tasted the sauce again now that it wasn't blisteringly hot, and asked Amy to try it. She took an entire spoonful of the spicy tonic, grimaced, and nodded.
We started slathering the ribs, Amy with the brush, and me with a spoon. We ended up just using our hands and rubbing it in. I dug my hand into the jar and squeegeed the last of it onto the tender meat. I had sauce in my eyelashes; Amy’s eyebrows were slick with the stuff. I could hear my hair crackle as the sauce dried into it. We sat on the floor. We looked into that metal box and watched the meat accept the sauce. When it was done, we opened the oven and felt the hot air whooshing out and stood there with our eyes closed, feeling it billow our clothes.
My eyelashes curled as the sauce dried and my eyes watered. I opened my eyes, and saw Amy's hair start singeing as it floated in the swirling heat, so I slopped on it the dregs of the sauce from the pot. Goosebumps pricked our arms and our faces were flushed. It had been a long time since anything had breathed on our faces, even pork ribs in an oven.
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