Thursday, October 2, 2008

Make believe again

The past few days I've been feeling about as substantial as a wisp of post-rain fog that rises up out of the forested valley, twists around on cool air currents and then unceremoniously dissipates to nothing while your head was turned to look more squarely at something in your vision's periphery. I could write more about how I'm feeling and about my job interview and how resigned I feel to the reality of interacting with the general population on a regular basis again. But no one wants to hear that melancholy self-pity crap. So, I'll post this really short story I've had sitting around for a long time instead. This may turn into a longer short story at some point, but this is my starting place, the hook sort of. Mostly I just want to get something up here besides the DFW killed himself post.


The Dog Days

Our smells have mingled to the point where I can’t tell his from mine. They’re just “ours”. That’s how everything is nowadays: we, us, our. The transformation from me to we takes place slowly and imperceptibly like Jell-O setting. The smells aren't bad: my perfume, his deodorant, our clothes washed in the same detergent, the smell of our sleep on the sheets. These should be comforting "us" smells. But in this heat, they’re all too thick and too close.

I hear him next to me taking shallow, even breaths. He’s not asleep. He’ll probably reach over to touch me even though it’s about 94 degrees and the air feels dead in here. He rolls to my side of the bed and I can feel the heat radiating off his stomach against my lower back. He kisses my neck making happy nuzzling noises and I wonder how salty I taste. He reaches around to fondle my breasts and I know for certain he forgot to mail the rent check today. I make no mention of it although it’s all I can think of while he reaches down into my pajama bottoms. I can’t ignore him any longer so I roll over onto my back trying to make my sigh sound like something other than resignation.

We used to joke that our faces hurt from smiling at each other so much. He still smiles at me like that; he’s doing it now. I’m the one who stopped.

He rolls on top of me and as we breathe his chest pushes against mine. I can’t get enough air. His warm breath clings to my neck. It’s too much, I can’t breath. His weight is unbearable against my chest, my hands push against him, away from me.

“Hon, you okay? What’s wrong?”
“You’re suffocating me. Get off me, please, get off!”
“Oh, geez! I’m sorry, babe. Sorry.”
He’s next to me on his side now, pushing a strand of sweaty hair behind my ear, away from my face. He’s up on an elbow looking down at me with worry all over his face.

“It’s hot in here, that’s all. It’s just too hot.” I offer a conciliatory kiss to his scruffy cheek. I’m surprised I manage even that.
“Yeah, it’s hot. Maybe when the weather breaks things'll be better.” He rolls away from me, back to his side of the bed. It's not far enough.

I roll onto my right side, half of me almost hanging off the edge of our bed. I stretch my hand toward the open window, grasping for air. There is none.

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