Sunday, February 19, 2012

outside before the break of dawn

I leave before anyone else wakes up. In my head, this is me: one of the night people, as they slip away at dawn into secret places, pull curtains over windows to sleep until another dusk. Prostitutes and police officers, workers of all kinds, living in the dark instead of day: it almost becomes a poem, almost heroic.

If she was awake, we would have to talk. About hair. Bills. Pills. The college fund. I'm not a night person, not holding back the dark. Not embracing it. I'm a coward, running.

The coffee shop is not open yet, but my feet pull me that way. Maybe he will be there, or she will. Or someone new. A story I can piece together and make wonderful, as if theirs were not as fractured as my own.

No one runs forever, a voice whispers in my head. I think it could be mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A prompt and reply

Prompt: quick! you've got 3 minutes of video and 3 characters, What's the story?

Me: An affair :) Steve's dog, Flopsie, likes his ex Rebecca more than him and, when they break up, ends up sneaking to her place for food, spending the night until, in a fit of jealous rage, Steve kills Rebecca so that Flopsie has to return to him.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

we are together in how far apart we are

We sleep in separate beds. On the tv, it's a sign of wealth.

"Never have so few owed so much to so many," a voice says over the tv. I wonder if it's one of our creditors.

I want to tell her, "It's not your fault."
I want to say, "I've been distracted. There is this couple at a coffee shop. I think they're us."

But who isn't us, she'd say, dismissing it with cold logic, waving another bill. I've burned through the savings for the kid's college fund, the new car, everything. People don't want 9 to 5, they want Workers. Above and beyond the call of duty, but they won't pay for it. I think I am too honest in interviews. I don't want work to be my life.

I knock on her door, soft. "When I die, I don't want my tombstone to be how much I increased productivity on Line 7," I say.
She doesn't ask what I mean; I take that as a hope. "You have to be able to afford to have one." Shadows gather under her eyes, grey threading into her hair like spider webs.

She's stopped dyeing her hair. I have nothing to say to that. I open my mouth, close it, and leave.