Unhappiness! She talked about it as if it were a disease we could die from instead of what it is. A mood. The body’s own weather. I don’t have to tell you marriage can be stormy. You say partly sunny, I say mostly shut the fuck up. Know what I mean? Next morning though it’s all clear skies and bright prospects like old times. We were a physical couple you could say, still like schoolkids in love, always all over each other, bringing the thunder good and bad. I’ve got bruises to prove it, stitches even, not where I could show you, worse when she drank, of course, which was most of the time. If I could tell you the number of times she went to bed sobbing. That one night I never saw her so bad, eyes all puffy and dislocated, hair stuck to her head, rolling around on the kitchen floor just an animal not good for much of anything. I was sick. But even she was better in the light of the next blue morning. How she got up to scramble eggs I’ll never know. I couldn’t kick her out after that. She always seemed to come around just when I’d had enough. And of course I had the boy to look after. A boy needs family, something she seems to have forgotten. And then that lusty green Sunday in spring I came bounding downstairs aching to jump my girl’s bones and what do I see but the dogwood in the yard. Front door’s open and she and the boy long gone. All that time I worried about choosing the right time to end it and here she just up and left. It’s my son she’s being unfair to now. She shouldn’t be choosing for him.

Copyright © February 8, 2007 David Hodges