Friday, August 10, 2007

In the Mood


"Mmmmmmmm...." I grunt.

"Darling?" she pauses delicately. "Maybe it's not the best time to be reading Darkness Visible. Or listening to Fire and Rain over and over again."

I hear her and I don't. She is just this voice in the background, this overlay, this quietly plaintive nagging music I'm used to. When you don't listen, it goes away. Eventually.

"Mmmmmmmm..." I grunt again, refusing to lift my head from Styron, or change the CD.

She comes forward, a hopeful smile plastered on those neat, pretty features, everything in the right place, just the right size, just the right amount of make-up, a skirt that flares enough to be pretty but not enough to be retro. Funny, what you notice without noticing.

Then she proffers a handful of pills which I take without looking up.

I stuff them into my mouth and crunch like popcorn. The bitterness rises and blocks my ears.

I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend assails my blighted ears. I know what he's talking about.

"Darling, maybe you should, um, have a shower?"

She walks on eggshells. I continue to pretend to be absorbed in the book. Actually she's broken my concentration, she's interfered with the mood and I hate it when that happens.

I have to punish her.

I raise my eyes to her sweetly expectant face and frown slightly.

"You little bitch!"

A rending of silk. Gracefully, with the all the breeding and poise of a southern belle, she shatters, each crystal piece melting as it touches the ground.

She's gone.

I mop up the puddle and get back to my book.

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