Saturday, October 31, 2015

Arbitrary




Her lawyer boyfriend's favorite word. He shakes it over his sentences like seasoning.

Always she wakes before him because words are restless beasts impatient in their sheets, although she hates to leave the bed and the soft womb of safety she can only identity with him.

He'll slip out of his bat cave close to ten to complain about his sleep. A whale-shaped cat at the foot of his feet. Sinus, allergies, Austin, the rain. The phlegm at the back of his throat. The sheets need a clean. And her with her anxious dreams, the weight of wounds old but fresh and crying out, help. Help. (And he does, he always does, he insists, to the detriment of his own rest.)

He'll gather his keys and ask her what she wants from Starbucks, although it's always the same thing.

He'll return and they'll huddle on the couch before he takes off to the other room to play or write wills or send resumes attached with cover letters, waiting for the game to start. One day our lives will be better, he promises as the ice sinks into the glass.

She will try and write another book or catch up on work. Maybe get her hair cut. Maybe not. She thinks to check for theater times. Change the litter box. Find out when the football starts, then devise an escape plan. Oh, and is she due to call her dad? The endless limitations of possibilities whirl inside her cup of chai.

The afternoon sets in, and before they know it, a dewy night creeps under the blinds, shutting down another arbitrary day in the purgatory heaven they've made.

Her favorite word is nonchalant, although she never uses it.

Erin Passons, 10-31-2015
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